Sleeping parents arrested after children found on roof

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SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Two parents were arrested and charged with Felony Child Neglect after Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Deputies rescued their two children from the roof of their townhouse.

The Tuesday morning rescue began shortly after deputies were called to the Wakeman Dr. home.

"Upon their arrival, the deputies made entry into the home, bypassing several concerned citizens who had gathered and were trying to coax the children back into the home," Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeffery Pearce wrote in an email. "Senior Deputy Ridings was able to retrieve the children through the open window while Deputy Spillman contacted the parents, who were sleeping in another room."

The children are two and three years old, investigators said. There was also a nine-month-old baby left unattended in a playpen.

Michael Gillikin, 26 and Nancy Gillikin, 27 were arrested on four counts of Felony Child Neglect, Pearce said. Their children are now in the custody of Child Services.

"The home was found to be in disarray and not suitable for children to reside in," Pearce wrote. "The Gillikins were previously arrested in 2010 for Felony Child Neglect; however the charges were later reduced to misdemeanors. They had two children at the time and Mrs. Gillikin was pregnant with their third child."


  • crystal

    Those kids should have been removed the first time around because clearly they are not parent material, but yet they are allowed to have more children. Surely my tax dollars are paying for them to keep on having children.. SMH!

  • Xman3

    So why did the “concerned citizens” not knock on the front door/ring the door bell to get the attention of the parents??? Children do unexpected and crazy things. How did the children get the window & window screen open so they could crawl out of the window?
    Is it now a crime to sleep???
    A 9 month old safely in a play pen or crib while the parents are asleep is a crime??? Was the play pen in the bedroom or near the bedroom??
    “Felony Child Neglect”, are you kidding me??
    Big Government at its best. . . . . There was no reason to arrest the parents.

      • Xman3

        Yes cbiller1. It is quite shocking how mean-spirited and judgmental most of these posts are. “It takes a village to raise a child” is a quote that comes to mind. It appears the ‘concerned citizens’ did not bother to ring the door bell to bring the situation to the parents, as first action.

        In my community we have neighborhood watch and we, as neighbors, keep watch on all the children and make parents aware of any problems as first action, not call the police at the drop of a hat.

        It was morning and children often awake early. There was no mention of the parents work schedule(s), no mention of drugs or alcohol. At some point everyone needs to get some sleep. Stuff happens.

    • Jessica

      Maybe you should listen to the full report…the neighbors were beating & kicking on the door trying to get the parents to open up! Totally unfit! The children should have been removed the 1st time but instead our poor justice system reduced charges gave them a slight slap on the wrist and placed the children back in that dispicable home! Unbelievable!

      • John

        No, only the cops claimed to bang on the door not the neighbors. I live in Fredericksburg and it turns out the kids were not on the roof but in a dormer window.

  • Joe

    “Big Government at its best. . . . . There was no reason to arrest the parents.”

    I seriously hope you don’t have children. If you do, may Zorgoth have mercy on their souls.

  • janey

    The parents should not be asleep when young children are awake and running around the house. Also, did you notice the part about the house not being fit for the children to live in?

  • Sexcnva

    Wow…History repeats itself. Not everyone is made for parenting. How do you sleep with two toddlers and an infant in the home? I have two kids and my husband and I slept when they slept. From the looks of the pics, they probably were high as the toddlers on the roof.

  • Virginia Lover

    It’s not a crime to sleep, it is a crime to be asleep and your toddlers are on the roof. Put down your meth pipe and stop the “big government” boogeyman talk. These two are clearly tweekers.

    • athynz

      For the slow judgmental – heavy on the judgmental part – people 1) People sleep. 2) Children get into some things. 3) There was NO mention of drugs. 4) The parents were likely overwhelmed by the whole thing and usually when being booked no one is given a chance to change or clean up.

      Stop with the rush judgments here – like any of you are such stellar parents! I’d say not with the baseless accusations of drug use.

  • Debra Dildine

    They shouldn’t been sent back first time and hope they don’t this time.real lucky children got off roof safely.thanks to god and the police also with concerned people.

  • EMB

    Um, as to why the neighbors called the police first: 1) they did not know what was going on in the house (dead parents? impaired parents? burglars? some other potentially harmful problem?). Calling 911 and requesting assistance from people trained, and legally able and required to handle such situations was the most wise thing to do, 2) legal considerations – some neighbors may have been teachers, medical people, social workers, etc. who are legally required to report possible child abuse/neglect, parents could have sued them for various reasons, etc.

  • sw

    I think too many on here are quick to judge these parents not knowing exactly why the parents were asleep. How early was it? Were the parents asleep due to sheer exhaustion from having 3 children under the age of 4? When my daughter was a toddler she was highly hyperactive. We would wake up during the night to find her up and on top of the counter or fridge. Sometimes making a sandwich with a sharp knife. Lack of sleep was an understatement. The body cannot stay awake for an unlimited amount of time. My husband had to work all day and he couldn’t possibly stay up all night. My older son used to crawl out of his crib at 3 or 4 in the morning and go through the fridge. One morning I woke to find my kitchen flooded because he put the stopper in the sink and turned on the water. I was not a bad mother. My children were just very active and liked to get up during the middle of the night. I did have 5 but the other 3 were not as bad. You people need to not judge without knowing all the facts. Parents back in my parents day would all be in jail or would have lost their kids because kids use to always get away from their parents. I like how a good majority of you on here think you are perfect parents. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be so quick to judge this couple so quickly. I myself would like to know all the facts first and if they are that bad then so be it. Until then I prefer them to be innocent until proven guilty.

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    I see a bunch of ignorant people here. It’s called misfortune and I assure you that everyone in here making judgments will experience some type of similar misfortune multiple times in their lifetimes. When I see this situation I am not sad for the parents in the article. I am sad for all of you idiots especially since I know most of you are “Christian”

    • sw

      Wow Dustin. Haven’t seen any comments from you lately. Glad to know you are still alive and kicking. Hope things are going well for you.

    • athynz

      Well said Dustin. Gotta love the rush to judgment by these idiots accusing them of being unfit parents and meth heads… ridiculous. Like Ron White says you can’t fix stupid.

  • anonymous

    I know this family. They love their kids but they do indeed do drugs of multiple kinds. That house is extremely nasty. Which I’m sure they cleaned now. That townhouse is Michaels parents, the kids grandparents. who also live there. I’m sure they were at work when this happened. I think Nancy would freak if her kids were in danger and she knew about it. However I’m not going to sugar coat it. They are not responsible and need to kick the drug habits. Look at how its effecting their lives. The old charges were because they got pulled over with drugs in the car with the kids. Hopefully this opens up their eyes and they change their ways. I don’t know what happened that day, but I’m not surprised. The kids are now with his sister Christy who has her own 3kids. Now she has 7 mouths to feed. This is terrible.

  • Robo

    This is a no win situation. If the authorities take the children than the DSS are monsters. If they do nothing and later there is another incident, they will be hung out to dry.
    My own feeling is that this is a couple that is overwhelmed with being parents and need some support (not financial). It would seem a better course of action than removing the children. Natrually an asssessment needs to be done to see what they need and if they can be parents (there are lots that have children but can not parent).

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