The Lee County Sheriff Department received a report, from Lee County Child Protective Services (CPS), that a three-year-old child had tested positive for amphetamines and methamphetamine. CPS removed all the children from the home and placed them in a safe environment.
During the investigation it was discovered that both caretakers of the children had lengthy criminal histories and both tested positive for methamphetamine.
The caretakers were Cassie Neely, 35, from Plantersville and Paul Eric Leathers, 47, also from Plantersville.
Warrants were then issued for the arrest of both caretakers for felony child abuse, and both are now in custody.
“There were three children in the home. The 3-year-old is hers and his. The older two are his from a previous relationship,” said Lee County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Rachel Chambers. “She was taken in without incident. He’s not been very cooperative at all.”
When the original warrant was issued for Leathers, he was believed to be driving a Ford F-150 truck, silver in color and was possibly in the Mooreville area. The sheriff’s department, as is often the case, learned of his approximate location and hoped Leathers would turn himself in. It’s unclear if he did that or was picked up.
Neely has been previously arrested on seven different occasions, with 20 separate charges.
Leathers was previously convicted for manufacturing methamphetamine.
Child welfare workers are seeing growing numbers of children and families affected by the parent’s use of methamphetamine.
“That proves the old saying, ‘Your actions affect others,’” Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said. “A high percentage of that is when they are manufacturing it (meth) and someone else is in the home.”
The North Mississippi Narcotics Unit is looking into the drug part of this investigation.
On Aug. 4, Neely was charged with felony child abuse, and had a bond set for $100,000. Leathers, as of presstime, has not been before a judge. Both remain in the Lee County Jail.
If you have any additional information about this case, call the Lee County Sheriff’s Department at 662-841-9040.