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Child's fall leads to parents' arrest

By Ed Brock

Police responding to an incident in which a 7-month-old boy fell from a window found the house where the boy lived to be in "deplorable" condition.

The boy's mother, 18-year-old Ashley Nicole Moorer, and father 21-year-old Victor Allen Moorer were arrested Sunday and charged with contributing to the deprivation of a minor, Clayton County Police Department Capt. Jeff Turner said.

At about 2:15 p.m. Sunday Ashley Moorer was downstairs bathing her two other children while the 7-month-old, Victor Moorer Jr., was asleep on a bed upstairs. The bed was placed against a wall where there was a window with no screen and only a pillow placed in a hole where a window-mounted air-conditioning unit would be, Turner said.

"At some point the baby woke up, pushed the pillow out and then fell out of the window, landing on a concrete patio below," Turner said.

Ashley Moorer was also charged with reckless conduct for leaving the boy on the bed near the window.

After hearing a small cry and running upstairs to find the boy missing, Ashley Moorer then ran to a neighbor's house and asked her to look to see if "Lil Victor" had fallen out of the window, according to Clayton County Police Officer Ashley Melvin.

Victor Moorer eventually returned and carried the boy, who had suffered a broken femur, to the front.

After Victor Jr. was taken to Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital Melvin entered the Moorers' house. In his report Melvin described finding open bags of trash containing food waste on the floors in several rooms with roaches, ants and flies gathered around them. He found a 4-inch steak knife in one child's room, feces in a toilet that had not been flushed and he noticed a smell of urine throughout the house.

"In the kitchen the sink was filled with dirty dishes and roaches were crawling around in the sink," Melvin wrote in his report. "On the table there were several bowls of cereal with spoiled milk in them. Some of the bowls had a layer of mold on the top."

When Melvin asked Victor Moorer why he hadn't tried to clean the house, Moorer told him, "I was trying to do my music thang," according to Melvin's report.

Turner said the house "was deplorable and not fit for any human, much less a child to live in that environment."

All three children were taken into the care of the Clayton County Department of Family and Children Services.

DFCS had no case history with the Moorers, Deputy Director Chuck Fischer said.

DFCS workers have seen situations like this, Fischer said, especially with young parents who don't have the necessary skills to care for children.

"You've got young moms who are just kids themselves, and all of a sudden they have three children," Fischer said.