Neighbors say child cruelty case goes beyond children


A sleepover that turned into six counts of child cruelty.

Police reports say one of Michael Hovey’s six children was sleeping at Cailtin Herring’s house.

The report tells us that Herring called Hovey and the child’s grandma several times, but they did not respond.

That’s when Columbia County Sheriff’s Department showed up.

Next door Neighbor, Missy Lever, says, “I had someone tell me they knocked on the door and that there was an odor coming from the door.”

That odor was what police found to be urine and feces.

Lever says her mother cannot even look out her window because of how unkept the property is.

“The backyard is very disarray, old cars old parts,” says Lever.

Police say inside there was old plates, old food, trash, mold, bare concrete floors.

They found five more kids inside that home.

“His sister told us that his wife had recently left, and he was left with the children,” says Lever.

Neighbors say they might not know much about the family life besides what they’ve seen or heard, but they do say they’ve had a history of calling animal services on this address.

“They let the animals out really late one night freezing weather, and I ended up calling Columbia County for that,” says Lever.

Lever allowed NewsChannel 6 into her backyard. The first thing we saw was a dog tethered to a tree.

I spoke to neighbors who said they reported on goats and even a mini horse in that same backyard.

“There is a day care. It’s behind us. With the horses and the goats that did have out there and it was causing mosquitos bugs.”

We requested the records from Columbia County Animal Services after neighbors told me there have been at least five calls.

The county confirmed there were reports and are sending them to NewsChannel 6.

Hovey told police he is renovating his home. The six children will stay with his wife, Bethany Hogan, until the home is kept up.

Police also checked Hogan’s home to make sure it was fit for children.

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