Fayette couple faces charges after deputies say kids found in poor living conditions

Fayette County deputies say Veronica Renee Cabrera, 41, of Montgomery and Shawn Kevin Schoolcraft, 28, of Montgomery are charged with three counts of child neglect creating risk of injury. (Fayette County Sheriff's Office)

A Fayette County couple is facing child neglect charges after deputies said four children were kept from school, and three were staying in poor living conditions in an abandoned cabin.

Veronica Renee Cabrera, 41, of Montgomery is the mother to all four children. Shawn Kevin Schoolcraft, 28, of Montgomery is the father to one of the children. Both parents are charged with three counts of child neglect creating risk of injury, according to a news release from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley said school officials at Valley notified the sheriff’s office late last week about several siblings who had not been in school for about two weeks. School officials requested a health and welfare check on the children, though deputies had no indication of where members of the family were and were unable to locate them.

A relative of the family contacted deputies a few days later requesting a check on the children but was unable to provide a location, the news release said. On Wednesday, deputies and officers of the Smithers and Montgomery police departments received a tip to a possible location of the family.

Officers found the family vehicle parked in front of a cabin on Boonesboro Road in Deepwater previously believed to be unoccupied, the release said. The two room cabin did not have running water or a bathroom. There was no food in the home and the children were exposed to electrical wires and a breaker box in reach of the kids. The cabin was in filthy conditions that were unlivable, the release said.

Contact was made with the adult couple and three of the four children in question, Fridley said. The children found at that cabin were 6, 7 and 14 years old. The fourth child was found at a home in Montgomery. Child Protective Services assisted with the response and is investigating. After all children were screened by EMS, and they were released to their grandmother.

Both parents are currently being held in the Southern Regional Jail.

"It has been said a million times, it's the kids who always suffer the most," Fridley said in the release. "You can make excuses all day, but really there is no excuse for exposing your children to these conditions."

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