DSS was taking care of a child. Two workers conspired to abandon him at a gas station, according to Slade
Two SCHS employees were arrested after abandoning a child in their custody at a gas station earlier this year, according to the South Carolina Department of Law Enforcement.
on monday, skating Michelle Lauren Holmes, 42, a case manager for DSS, has been charged with unlawful endangerment of a child and willfully abandoning a child, which is an offense, according to a news release. Marcus Antonio Hutchins, a second DSS case manager, was charged with criminal conspiracy, also a felony.
The couple was transporting a baby to the Spartanburg County DSS office on March 6 when they stopped at a gas station on Fairforest Road in Spartanburg, according to an affidavit. The child was placed in the custody of the Social Security Department by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office as a “foreign national” with no known family in South Carolina. The child’s age was not disclosed.
Hutchins moved the child to a public bathroom inside the gas station while Holmes waited in the car, according to an affidavit. Once the baby was in the bathroom, the Hutchins walked out of the store, and the two case managers left the property.
When the child, who had limited knowledge of the English language, could not find Hutchins or Holmes, a gas station employee called 911.
Hutchins and Holmes later arrive at the DSS office. They led a supervisor to believe the child had become lost, according to SLED.
DSS declined to comment on the arrests, but said Hutchins and Holmes are no longer with the department.
Both defendants are being held at the Spartanburg County Detention Center. The South Carolina Attorney General’s office will prosecute the case.
If convicted, Hutchins could face up to 10 years in prison, according to South Carolina Law. It could be Holmes A fine of up to $5,000 and he faces up to five years in prison.