HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - The emotion was written all over a Harrison Township couple's faces as the reality of their alleged decision set in.
Twenty-one-year-old Charelle Woods and her boyfriend, 19-year-old Aaron Diggs, faced a magistrate via video arraignment on Friday. They are accused of leaving their 18-month-old alone for hours.
The pair are now charged with Child Abuse 4th Degree, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
"We're talking about a one and a half year old child here," said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. "Leaving him alone for ten minutes isn't the right thing to do. In an apartment by himself - unacceptable."
Sheriff Wickersham told 7 Action News that Woods had to drive Diggs to work on Thursday. He says the couple took their 3-year-old child with them and left toddler behind.
Woods' father, stopped by the apartment in Harrison Township at around 2:45 pm and was shocked to find the door was open and his grandson alone. He took the boy with him when he left.
"It's really less fortunate that they would leave their kid in the house like that," said neighbor Brandon Smith. "I mean it's a tight-knit community you can clearly, say, stay here until my girlfriend gets home, watch my kid."
After several hours passed, Woods allegedly realized her son was missing at around 6:45 in the evening. She called police, leading to 30 members of the Macomb County Sheriff's Department - including K-9 officers - searching for him into the early morning hours.
The grandfather eventually came forward and admitted he was disgusted to find the boy by himself and in deplorable conditions and wanted to teach the parents a lesson.
Some neighbors told us what they would see inside the apartment.
"It was real nasty when you walk in the house there was a strong odor," said Smith.
"Terrible," said neighbor Austin Cranston "Garbage everywhere. Feces on the wall. Kids running around naked. It's bad you can't walk in the house or sit on the coaches."
According to neighbors, conditions were too dangerous for two small children.
"When we saw the police, they were all strapped up in face masks and gloves," said Cranston.
The fate of the two small children is not known. It is not clear if they will end up with a relative, the state, or their parents.
The Department of Human Services is conducting an investigation. The boys are now in the care of a relative.