November 21, 2013

Two-year-old child unattended near U.S. 25

Investigation nets five arrests

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer


A child seen wandering unattended near U.S. 25, six miles south of London, Saturday set off a series of events that included a land search and five persons taken into custody.

Laurel County Sheriff's Deputies Josh Scott and Shane Rice were dispatched by Laurel 9-1-1 to Villagewood Court to check on the child's well being around 11 a.m. When deputies arrived at the scene, neighbors directed them to a residence where they located the child's mother, Natasha C. May, but they also observed dog feces on the floor. The mother of the two children had the five-year-old but said the two-year-old was missing.

A land search for the child was launched and involved the London-Laurel Rescue Squad and Laurel Emergency Management assisting the sheriff's office. The child was found quite a distance away near a pond in the woods. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were called in to check the child.

While the land search was underway, the children's father, Joseph Fentress asked a neighbor, Tina Duran, to watch the five-year-old. 

When social workers from the Cabinet for Families and Children arrived, they could not locate Duran or the child, but they saw a man entering Duran's home. A check with law enforcement revealed the man was wanted. He was taken into custody by the deputies and identified as David W. Miracle, 39, of McClure Bridge Road in London, charged with failure to appear in court.

While Miracle was being arrested, Duran, 46, of Villagewood Court,  appeared and began screaming and cursing the deputies over Miracle's arrest. When she was told to go back into her residence, she refused, continuing to scream and curse. She was taken into custody, charged with second-degree disorderly conduct. Another person at the scene was also discovered to have outstanding warrants against her — Marilyn Mason Cline, 55, also of Villagewood Court. She was arrested and charged with the bench warrant from Knox County for theft by deception.

The parents of the children were also arrested. Joseph Fentress, 28, and Natasha C. May, 26, both of Villagewood Court in Lily, were both charged with endangering the welfare of a minor and first-degree wanton endangerment.  May was additionally charged with a warrant from Knox County for failure to appear in court. May told police she was cleaning in a back bedroom of the home when the two children escaped the home.

All five adults were taken to the Laurel County Detention Center. Social Services placed the two children with a relative.