ALBANY, GA (WALB) –
The mother of a boy who was found dead in his home has been arrested after investigators said the home and other children inside were so filthy, it was criminal.
Tessa Soilberry was arrested and charged with five counts of reckless conduct. Police said the conditions were endangering her children.
Her six-month-old son Kingston was found dead at the home Thursday morning. First responders were called to the apartment because he wasn't breathing.
The coroner's preliminary report said the death was believed to be from natural causes.
But it was when investigators surveyed the home they decided to charge Soilberry because of the conditions.
They did not charge her in the death, but for endangering the child's well-being.
Family members defended her.
“She needs help,” said Rosetta Mitchell, who was the child's grandmother. “She don't need to be locked up. She don't need to be scandalized. She needs help.”
On Friday she helped clean the apartment where the family lives. She said Soilberry should be there with them, mourning the loss of her youngest child.
The family was not able to find a picture of Kingston to show Friday, and said officials should have brought in help for the mother, instead of throwing her in jail.
“No one has come to help. They just come to complain and look and talk about how it is. She has four children. She's not employed. She don't have no income,” Mitchell said.
The family said they hope the community can donate a better home for Soilberry and her children, and help her find a job.
They also would like someone to help pay her $5,000 bond, so she can get out of jail, and mourn her child's death.
Soilberry's other three children were sent to stay with her sister.
An autopsy was scheduled at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Atlanta to determine the cause of Kingston's death.
Prosecutors will then decide if further charges will be filed.