Gwinnett couple face child cruelty charges after girl, 6, found to be living in squalor, police say

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett couple appeared before a judge on child cruelty charges on Thursday.

Gwinnett police told Channel 2 Action News the couple wanted to keep their 6-year-old girl away from her sibling, so they would lock the child in a bedroom for more than 12 hours a day with nothing but a small foam mattress.

Joseph Lipscomb and Tiphanie Lanier both asked for court-appointed attorneys as they went before a judge on first-degree child cruelty charges.

Authorities said that behind the walls of their rented home on Broxton Mill Court, just south of Snellville, the couple kept the girl in her room during the day and into the evening until her siblings went to bed.

In the bedroom, police said they found only a two-inch foam topper, an old mattress with exposed springs, trash, spoiled food and human waste from the victim.

The couple’s neighbors told Channel 2′s Tony Thomas they can’t even remember when they stopped seeing the small child.

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One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she used to see the little girl in the front yard but hadn’t noticed her in a while.

She told Thomas that she did not suspect anything like this was going on.

“I don’t know when I really stopped seeing her, because it’s just kind of weather change so you don’t think about it,” the neighbor said.

In a warrant, police dated the crimes from Aug. 26 until early November.

“I can’t imagine them doing that to the baby,” said the neighbor.

Lipscomb and Lanier are being held without bond, with the judge citing their danger to others as one of the reasons to be held.

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