LAMAR COUNTY, Ga. - The Lamar County Sheriff's Office said a mother and father will not be charged after deputies found them living in a tiny metal shed with their two children.
The shed had one bed, no running water or air conditioning and an extension cord for electricity.
"This is where the whole family lived," said neighbor Kelly Harshbarger as he opened the door to the shed.
"There is no crime for being poor", Major Leslie Holmes explained. "We do not believe their was malicious intent on their part to deprive the boys of anything," the major commented further.
Investigators said two boys, ages eight and nine, and the mother of one and the father of the other were all living in the shed, sharing a bed and everything else in very cramped quarters. Harshbarger said he realized the two boys and the adults were sharing the shed when he confronted the dad about the boys killing his chickens with pears from trees in the yard.
Harshbarger called the Lamar County Sheriff's Office and Georgia's Division of Family and Children Services, or DFACS.
The sheriff's office investigators said although the conditions were unacceptable, neither parent had malicious intent or purposefully tried to deprive the children of anything.
Parents Christopher Hutchins and Amanda Boyd were arrested on previous arrests warrants out of Coweta County and Pike County.
The two boys were taken into protective custody by DFACS because of the living conditions.
"So DFACS removed them from that area because of the living conditions. There was no separation of the bedroom that the bedroom the mother and father slept in as opposed to the one the children slept in," said Major Leslie Holmes with the Lamar County Sheriff's Office.
The home owner said he believes the children were with neighbors during the heat of day. "They were just in there at night, you know they weren't staying there in the daytime," said David Hay.
He said he allowed Hutchins and his family to stay in the shed as payment for odd jobs. Hay, who is confined to a walker, said he asked Hutchins to leave but Hutchins refused. Instead deputies arrested Hutchins and Boyd and removed the boys from the shed
"All I was trying to do was help them that's all my intentions were to do," said Hay.
Mr. Hay believes the parents should have been charged because he claims they did not do an adequate job of providing for the kids.