Carter County

Parents charged after child found wandering

CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. - A Carter county boy found wondering down a street is safe, but his parents are now facing child neglect charges.

Tracy Darlene Phillips and Steve Kelly Phillips were arrested on Saturday morning after deputies say they found the couple's 7-year-old autistic son a quarter of a mile down Mill Pond Road from his home.

The sheriff tells us the boy was only wearing a wet t-shirt. He says the temperature that morning was 46 degrees.

Deputies located the boy's home and found the parents asleep. "The house was in very bad condition," Sheriff Mathes said. "[There were] reports of trash, food on the floor along with dog feces.  Very, very poor conditions that the child was living in."

Deputies tell us Tracy Phillips claimed her husband broke the front door the night before the boy got out and it could not be secured.

The judge set the couple's bond at $5,000 each. They're due back in court December 27.

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