Couple charged with child abuse, children left in ‘filthy’ home

Published 12:21 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2017

By Shavonne Walker

KANNAPOLIS — A Kannapolis couple were charged with child abuse this week after Rowan County authorities said they left their children at home with a friend and didn’t return.

Deputies who went to investigate said they found the home filthy.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Frank Ray Eason, 49, and Lisa Marie Pitz, 26, both of the 1600 block of Daniels Street, with four counts of misdemeanor child abuse. Pitz is also charged with failure to appear or comply in court.

Deputies were sent to the Kannapolis home after receiving a call from a man who said he agreed to watch two boys, ages 1 and 7, for his friend Eason, who said he needed to be in court.

The friend told deputies that Eason did not return at the hour he was expected.

The next day, the friend said, he didn’t know what to do and called authorities. The friend allowed deputies to look in on the children to ensure they were fine.

A deputy noted in his report that the home was filthy and smelled of rotten food or feces. There were numerous dirty diapers on the floor, dirty clothes thrown about and soda bottles with what appeared to be urine in them in the house, the deputy reported. He said there was some food in the refrigerator and the home did have running water.

It appeared that someone had been sleeping on the living room couch, and there was a small crib at the home, the report said. Officials said there were dirty clothes stacked on the children’s bed.

Officials with the Rowan County Department of Social Services were called and removed the children.

Eason and Pitz have four children together, authorities said.

Investigators later determined that Eason told his friend he had to go to court in Wilmington. Court records show that Eason was expected in a New Hanover County court in January.

Rowan County officials said Eason and Pitz called Rowan County Social Services and told authorities that they would not be returning to their Kannapolis home because they were running from the law.

A deputy went to the Daniel Street home on Sunday after receiving a tip from a neighbor who said Eason and Pitz had returned. The neighbor gave a generic description of the vehicle the pair were driving, and the deputy saw one that matched the description.

Pitz and Eason were arrested on West C Street.

Eason remains jailed under a $20,000 secured bond. Pitz remains in jail under a $6,000 secured bond.