A North Carolina couple faces child abuse charges after their five children were found living in the family home alongside a dead family member, detectives said.

Jeremy Dishner, 39, and Melissa Kay Poole, 25, of Statesville, N.C., initially contacted area authorities to report a death in the household.

“The call came in and our office responded,” said Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Det. Troy Miller.

When they arrived, Iredell County Sheriff Office deputies found the body of a 62-year-old man who had died at the home, later identified as the children’s grandfather. Miller said that it was also apparent that the home showed signs of neglect and unkempt conditions.

According to a release from Sheriff Darren Campbell, the man had been dead about 24 hours before Poole or Dishner noticed. The couple told authorities that they were unaware of the elderly man’s death and officials reported that the children entered their grandfather’s room unknowingly after his death.

While in the home, investigators noted large amounts of trash, dirty clothing, and food on the floor. Deputies also noticed plumbing leaks and raw sewage in the bathrooms.

Officials contacted the Iredell County Department of Social Services in efforts to place the five children, ages 9 months to 13-years-old, in temporary custody as Poole and Dishner were arrested.

Poole and Dishner each face five counts of misdemeanor child abuse. Dishner also had an outstanding warrant for driving while his license was revoked in Alexander County, North Carolina.

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