By: Ashley King
DUNLAP, Tn (UTC)–Two boys were found abandoned in a Sequatchie County home Sunday, March 22 around 1:00pm after a blaze had been set by the nine year old boy found in the home.
Nichole Manery surrendered at the Sequatchie County Justice Center Wednesday March 25 around 1:30pm after a search went on for several days.
Dunlap Volunteer Fire Department responded to the brush fire Sunday in the area of 49 Old State Highway 8. Officers went to the child’s home to speak with the parents, when officials discovered that the nine year old and his 11 year old brother had been abandoned by their mother for at least three days.
The mother was identified as 31 year old Nichole Manery. She reportedly had left with her boyfriend, identified as 30 year old Christopher Pugh, in a black 1976 Chevy Pick-Up, bearing TN tag number 104-TDS, three days earlier.
Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock says the boys were caring for their mentally challenged, handicapped adult uncle and had only eaten one meal, bologna sandwiches, while they were alone. One officer immediately went to buy food for the victims while the other officials investigated.
There was no food found anywhere in the residence, the children had no money, and there was no phone available.
In addition to neglect and abandonment, Officers discovered both illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the residence.
The children were released to Child Protective Services, after they were found caring for their handicapped uncle.
Manery has been charged with two counts of Child Abuse, Neglect and Endangerment and one count each for Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Christopher Pugh is still being sought is is charged with Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia.
No charges were filed against the nine year old boy in regards to starting the fire.
Authorities believe Mr. Pugh may still be in the black 1976 Chevrolet pickup truck he and Ms. Manery were last seen driving. Anyone with information on Mr. Pugh’s whereabouts should contact the Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Department at 423-949-7750 or the Sequatchie County E-911 Center at 423-949-9912.