WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The father of twin toddlers who were found alone in their mother’s apartment, covered in feces and urine, says the children are recovering from their ordeal and are living with him.
“I’m glad it’s over, and my kids are doing better now,” said Rodney Lindsey of Winston-Salem. “I can be there for my kids.”
Betrice Monique Tribble, 22, the children’s mother, was charged with misdemeanor child abuse and resisting a public officer after officers found the children, Asaiah, a boy, and Armani, a girl, locked in the apartment’s bedroom, police said.
The children, who turn 3 on Sunday, were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment after investigators determined that they dehydrated and probably hadn’t eaten for at least a day.
Tribble also is accused of giving a false name to an officer investigating the case. She couldn’t be reached Friday to comment about her case.
Officers went to 176 Highland Ave., Apt. D, about 3:15 a.m. Saturday after a report of a gunshot, Winston-Salem police said. They found the front door to the apartment in Southgate Apartments complex open and went inside.
The officers noticed that a doorknob to one of the upstairs bedrooms was tied to a banister with a shoelace. When they opened the door, they found the children.
Lindsey, 30, said he had gone to Tribble’s apartment on Highland Avenue to check on his children at 5 p.m. last Saturday and that the twins were OK. Lindsay said he called Tribble around midnight to check again on the children, and Tribble told him that the toddlers were staying at her grandparents’ home.
“But I had a feeling that they were still at home (Tribble’s apartment),” Lindsey said.
Lindsey’s account conflicts with a police statement that said the children were alone for nearly a day.
Michelle Ferguson-Hollowell, the property manager at Southgate Apartments, said Friday that no resident reported hearing gunfire last Saturday. She declined to comment on Tribble’s case.
Tribble was released from the Forsyth County Jail after she posted a $6,000 bond, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said. She is scheduled to appear in court on the child-abuse charges May 15.
Several neighbors said they were outraged about how the children had been treated.
“That’s horrible,” said Adrian Haney, a neighbor. “I don’t understand how someone could leave their kids like that. It’s torture.”
Rita Galloway, a local guardian ad litem, said she wonders why someone in Tribble’s life didn’t notice that Tribble was having problems. A guardian ad litem advocate is a court-appointed volunteer who investigates and determines the needs of abused and neglected children. Galloway is not involved in Tribble’s case.
“There is a failure somewhere in the system that is serving her,” Galloway said. “Children don’t deserve to be treated like that.”
Lindsey and Tribble have had a troubled relationship, court records show.
Tribble was charged in October 2013 with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, an arrest warrant says. She is accused of stabbing Lindsey in the hand during an argument, according to the warrant.
Tribble is scheduled to appear in court Monday on that charge.
Lindsey said he also was charged with misdemeanor assault in that incident.
In June 2012, Tribble filed a complaint against Lindsey, alleging that Lindsey had failed to financially support the twins, according to a court record. A judge ordered Lindsey to pay $189 a month in child support.
Lindsey said he recalled going to court about the complaint. He said he told the judge that he and Tribble had joint custody of the children, that they were living in the same home at that time, and that he would financially support them.
Lindsey said that court officials haven’t contacted him recently about that matter.
Lindsey, who no longer lives with Tribble, said he hopes his children will thrive.
“They are doing great,” he said. “God will take care of things.”