Gregg County Sheriff's Officers responded to a residence on Monday afternoon to preform a welfare check after an anonymous tip came into their office that there was a young child that was always filthy and never had any clothes on. They additionally stated that the child's father seemed to always be intoxicated.
When Sergeant Chase Doss arrived, he met with "Laurie" who claimed there was no child at the residence as her children had been taken by Child Protective Services and adopted out. When questioned about a two year old, she is said to have told Doss that the child belonged to her sister, Debbie, and she sometimes watched the child. When asked for contact information for Debbie, she was unable to provide any.
While Doss was at the residence, he received a call from the Kilgore Police Department stating that someone was there with more information about the child, so he left the scene to speak with the individual.
The man's story matched with what Doss had just been told by "Laurie." He told the Doss that he had met a woman that identified herself as "Laurie" Gray, later confirmed to be Elisha Diana Gray, and she sad that her children had been taken by CPS and adopted out. In her possession was a young child that appeared as though she or he had not been bathed in some time and was wearing a dirty diaper.
The man further went on to state that Gray had told him the child had been born in the very trailer they resided in. “Elisha explained to the reporting party that she cut the umbilical cord herself and that the child had never been to a doctor and was undocumented with the U.S. government,” the affidavit stated.
Sergeant Doss and Investigator David Falco returned to the residence to follow up. Gray once again identified herself as "Laurie" and stated initially that she lived at the residence alone before eventually admitting that she lived there with Matthew Edward Alderman, her husband. She also told the officers that she was unable to have children due to endometriosis.
Falco stepped away to speak with neighbors. It was then that he found Alderman and the 2 year old child in question where they were hiding with Diana Colter, next door.
Colter told investigators that Monday afternoon, she had noticed Gray with the two year old running up to her back door. “I let them in the house and later she left and told me that CPS was after her and so I let the baby in the house. I brought her right in the house. I gave her a bath,” Colter said.
Later, Alderman had shown up and identified himself to Colter as the father of the child. “I didn’t even know that was her daddy. I thought that was her uncle. I was told that the baby was her sister’s, she was just babysitting,” she said.
Alderman gave law enforcement permission to search the residence.
Once inside, the affidavit states that Falco quickly determined that the “residence was not suitable for any person, let alone a child, to live in.” The residence was found to be filled with garbage and urine and feces from numerous animals. Additionally, mold was found to be growing in several rooms.
The Gregg County Health Department was called to the scene to remove the animals found there which were not being properly cared for. By the end, they had removed twelve cats, twelve rats, six dogs, one rooster, one pig, and one opossum. The animals will be checked out by a veterinarian and may be listed for adoption.
Gray, 37, and Alderman, 43 were both arrested and charged with a state-jail felony charge of abandon or endanger a child and a Class A misdemeanor cruelty to non-livestock animals. Gray was additionally charged with failure to identify or giving false information.
Coulter watched the young child until CPS took possession later in the evening.
The investigation is ongoing, and officials are looking into the allegations that the child had never been to a doctor and had no documentation.