Evidence Tampering Charges Following Girls’ Deaths

Posted/updated on: July 27, 2014 at 5:39 am

Liles_Thomas.1406302889QUITMAN (Staff/AP) A Quitman man was arrested by local law enforcement for allegedly tampering with a Wood County case. KETK reports that according to Police Chief Kelly Cole, Thomas Wayne Liles, 19, was taken into custody by one of his officers on Thursday for tampering with evidence. At 1:51 a.m. Thursday, Quitman PD responded to reports of two young sisters who were not breathing and would not wake up. When authorities arrived, they found two girls, approximately ages two and three, dead.

Multiple witnesses told officers that a man was seen running from the Dogwood Villa apartment where the two deaths occurred. They also saw the man throw a “large item” into a dumpster near the building. Police say multiple items were discarded and were consistent with having come from the children’s apartment. According to authorities, it is not known at this time if the discarded items are related to the children’s deaths. Autopsies have been ordered, and officials say homicide has not been ruled out. Liles is being held on a $25,000 bond.

Child Protective Services spokeswoman Shari Pulliam said her agency previously investigated the children’s living conditions. On December 17, 2013, allegations of medical neglect and physical neglect were made at another location. The home had no running water and large amounts of trash and debris in the home, and one of the children had a bump on a leg that was infected, according to Pulliam.

During the investigation, the mother was able to move into adequate and safe housing for her children, Pulliam said. She was also able to get care for the children’s basic and extended needs, including medical help. The case was completed on February 21, 2014. At the end of the investigation, the mother was living alone with her children, who were in daycare while she worked.

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