Anderson, SC (FOX Carolina) - Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride said the death of a two-year-old girl reported late Thursday night is "probably the worst case" of abuse and neglect his deputies have ever seen.
McBride said deputies were called to a home off Centerville Road in Anderson County sometime after 11 p.m.
Deputies arrived and found a 2-year-old girl who had been dead for some time.
"For some time in this case means at least a day or two," the sheriff said. "in this case, her death is the result of abuse and severe neglect. It's gut-wrenching."
McBride added, "there are hardly any words to describe how bad it is."
“If there is one comforting factor, it’s to know she is in Heaven and not in pain or being abused," the sheriff concluded.
The coroner later identified the girl who died as Anastasia Wynter McAlister.
Four people were taken into custody in connection with the case, which warrants revealed involved three children: Anastasia, a three-year-old boy, and a three-month-old girl.
Shortly after 2 p.m. deputies revealed 3 adults and one teen were charged with unlawful neglect of a child.
Thomas Lloyd Roberts, Chasya Love Gilbody, and Dylan Matthew McAlister are the adults charged. Roberts faces two counts of unlawful neglect and McAlister and Gilbody each face three counts.
According to the arrest warrants, all three are charged in Anastasia's death. The warrants state Anastasia had severe bruising on her head, severe diaper rash, and a large amount of fecal matter in her diaper.
All three are also accused of neglect in the case of the three-year-old boy who had bruising on his rear-end, severe diaper rash, and when found by law enforcement was determined to have removed his diaper which contained a large amount of fecal matter.
The third child was a three-month-old baby girl. Gilbody and McAlister are accused of neglecting this child, who the warrant said also suffered a severe case of diaper rash and was wearing a diaper containing a large amount of feces.
The fourth suspect is Bryahna Elizabeth Perry. Deputies said Perry is 17-years-old but is being charged as an adult in the case. She also faces two counts of unlawful neglect.
Roberts and McAlister, who is the children's father, appeared in bond court Friday afternoon.
Both men claimed they had no idea of the physical condition the children were in.
"I could never do that," Roberts told the judge. He said when he got home Wednesday night he didn't see the children, and when the parents arrived home a few hours later, he did not think anything was out of the ordinary.
McAlister said he supports the family working as an over-the-road trucker. He said the children's mother, Gilbody, cares for the children while he is on the road.
"I did not know how bad things had become there," McAlister told the judge. "...I would have never in a million years let then get that bad."
The judge set surety bonds at $10,000 for each offense the men face.
Perry, the 17-year-old also went before a judge on Friday afternoon. Her bond was also set at $10,000 per offense. She was also ordered to have no contact with the children.
Gilbody did not appear in bond court on Friday. She is now listed on the detention center's website as being charged with three counts of unlawful neglect of a child. According to their website, her charges are non-bondable.
Deputies said the investigation is ongoing and that upgraded charges may be filed once the coroner concludes the cause of the child's death.
The Anderson County Child Fatality Task Force, consisting of representatives the Office of the Coroner, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina DSS and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division-SVU, is investigating the case.