When a representative for a property management company showed up at a Patriot Lane residence in Summerville, South Carolina on the morning of Wednesday, October 23rd, it was expected to be just another standard quarterly inspection. Instead, they encountered children dead-bolted in a bedroom upstairs asking to be let out because they were hungry.
The inspector located Diana Salbon, 26, downstairs in the residence and told her children were locked in an upstairs bedroom. Her response was allegedly just to tell the inspector not to let them out.
Amid hearing cries of "help me," from upstairs, the inspector left and called the police.
Police arrived at the residence Wednesday afternoon and found Salbon downstairs with an infant and a two year old. She is said to have given deputies permission to search the home.
Deputies went upstairs and found dead bolts on the exterior of each bedroom door, and no handles. Additionally, deputies noted that every room in the house had a camera in it, including areas where children slept and changed.
When they opened the door, they found an extremely cluttered room with garbage, dirty diapers, animal fecal matter, and small animals in cages. According to the incident report, the smell was "horrific."
Salbon is said to have told deputies that her five children shared that bedroom which had a single double-bed, while she and 22 year old Erick Perez-Viera, father of the couple's one year old, slept in the room next door.
Another woman, a mother of two, lived downstairs in the home with her two children. It is reported that she was sub-letting the upstairs to Salbon and Perez-Viera. At the time of the discovery by authorities, her children were in school. She is not facing charges at this time, but her children, along with Salbon's five, were all taken into protective custody.
Still another couple is said to have been living in the converted garage of the home. They were not there at the time.
Both Salbon and Perez-Viera were arrested and booked into the Berkeley County detention center. They are each charged with five counts of unlawful conduct towards a child, a felony, which carries a possible sentence of up to ten years for each count.