The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Dalzell-area husband and wife on child neglect charges Friday night after learning they were forcing their 14-year-old daughter to live in a tent in the woods more than a quarter-mile from their home.
Crystal Lynn Driggers, 36, and James Allen Driggers, 33, both of 3480 Ben Sanders Road, have each been charged with a single count of unlawful neglect of a child.
Investigators learned the child had been denied entrance to her home for the past two days, and was expected to remain away from the home for a week, allegedly in an attempt to punish the child for eating a Pop-Tart.
Investigators were told the child was ordered by her parents to set up a tent in a wooded area known to have wild hogs, and was provided with only a roll of toilet paper, a flashlight, a whistle and a watch. The child was allegedly told by the suspects to meet someone at a fence on the family property at specific times during the day if she wanted to receive any food.
The child was also left to fend for herself during the severe thunderstorms that came through the area Thursday night.
Investigators also learned that, during the previous month, the child had been prohibited from entering the home between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Both suspects are in custody at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing while the child is in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The victim’s four siblings have been placed in the custody of their grandparents.
The investigation into this incident will continue.