Mother charged after 2-year-old wanders into street

Published 10:57 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

KANNAPOLIS — Rowan authorities charged a Kannapolis mother with child abuse and other offenses after her 2-year-old son wandered into the street and into unattended vehicles near their Smith Road home.

Officials say the child has left the home without the mother knowing on more than one occasion.

Annie Nichole Oxendine, 31, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of misdemeanor child abuse. She remains in the Rowan County jail under a $4,000 secured bond.

A deputy went to the home, 8141 Smith Road, after the child was reported to be playing close to the road without adult supervision. A neighbor told officials “this was a recurring issue,” a report said.

A neighbor told deputies the child would walk outside by himself into the road, get into unattended vehicles, roam through the neighbors’ yards, and his mother had no idea where he was, the report said.

The deputy noted he’d been at the home the previous week for a similar situation. The deputy said he told the mother several ways she could secure the door to prevent the child from getting out on his own, but she seemed uninterested.

The deputy said the home was “incredibly dirty,” with trash stacked up against the kitchen wall, dirty diapers on the floor and counters, and dirty pots and pants in the kitchen. He called the house unfit to live in, the report said.

The child looked as if he had not been bathed in several days. He had dirt and food caked on his face, his hair was matted and knotted, his clothes were filthy, and his long fingernails had dirt caked underneath them.

Rowan Social Services was called. The next day, Tuesday, Rowan authorities received a call from a neighbor who lived two houses away saying the neighbor had the child, who left the home unsupervised. A neighbor told deputies the child always had on the same clothing or was otherwise seen running around naked.

The deputy woke the mother, who had no idea where the boy was, and the deputy went inside. The deputy saw a syringe lying on a table, noting it was located where the child could reach it. The mother said it was for her insulin and she was able to produce medicine.

There were soiled diapers on a high chair in the kitchen. Oxendine gave the deputy permission to search the home and he noted a used diaper on the bathroom floor; the refrigerator was unsanitary; there were 35 to 40 trash bags outside the back door.

Oxendine was drug tested, which came back positive for amphetamine. She has some pending Cabarrus County cases for driving infractions.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.