Deputies said they discovered eight children were left home alone for several days after their mother was killed in a crash Monday and their father did not return home from Texas until Friday to take care of them.
Spartanburg County deputies said they were called to the family's Woodruff home Friday. Lt. Tony Ivey with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office said deputies discovered eight children home alone on Friday.
The children's mother, identified as 37-year-old Ruth Mathews by the coroner's office, was the bicyclist killed in a crash with a car along Miller Road and Highway 221 on Aug. 19, Ivey said.
Following the crash, investigators went to the home but no one came to the door, deputies said. Investigators with the coroner's office knew the woman had children but were unaware of their whereabouts and were unable to track down their father until Friday, according to the deputy's report.
The father, 47-year-old Rajy Mathews, was working in Houston and chose not to return home after learning about his wife's death until Friday night, Ivey said. According to the deputy's report, when investigators were able to track down and contact Mathews, he said his children were with a pastor.
Deputies said a neighbor reported seeing children inside the home and when investigators went back to the home, they said they could see children inside. Deputies knocked but the kids would not open the door until finally an older child did, the report said.
She told deputies there mother had left and they did not know where she was and when they called their dad, he said he could not come until the weekend, according to the deputy's report.
Deputies said they only found a few canned goods in the home and the refrigerator was not working. Deputies said they children ranged from nearly 2 years old to 16.
The kids were place into emergency protective custody and Rajy Mathews was arrested on eight counts of child neglect when he returned to town, deputies said.
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Sunday, August 31 2014 3:31 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:31:29 GMT
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