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‘I want my kids back’: Mom denies toddlers found on roof while she slept

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SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - "I'm going to publicly be burned as some horrible mother and I'm not," Nancy Gillikin said.

Gillikin, 27, and her Michael, 28, were arrested this week on four counts of Felony Child Neglect, according to the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators said they were called to the Gillikin's townhouse after the couple's children, ages two and three, were seen on the roof.

Gillikin, who is now free on bond, said deputies are not telling the truth about what happened Tuesday morning.

She said while her three-year-old son did tell investigators their 10-month-old daughter opened a screen window, she denies her toddlers ever made it onto the roof.

"If they were out on that roof, they would've fallen,” she said.  “They don't have the balance that adults do."

But Spotsylvania Sheriff’s deputies said that’s what their officers witnessed.

"Upon deputies’ arrival they saw two small toddlers, ages two and three, on the roof near the edge,” said Capt. Jeff Pearce. “Apparently they had crawled out the window.”

Deputies made entry, but Nancy Gilliken said all they had to do was push in the door.

The roof in question is above the first floor porch, about nine feet off the ground.

Deputies said they went straight to the room the toddlers had exited, and pulled them safely inside.  They then discovered the Gillikins fast asleep in the next room with their 10-month-old alone in a play pen in the room next door.

“You admit it wasn't a good idea to be asleep while the kids were awake, right?” Jon Burkett asked.

“It probably wasn't, but I thought they were sleeping and I didn't mean to fall asleep,” Gillikin replied.

Detectives and social service investigators on scene were concerned about the condition and cleanliness of the town home and arrested the Gillikins and charge them with felony child neglect.

It’s the second time the Gillikins have been charged with crimes detrimental to their children’s welfare, investigators said. As for the first go-round, Nancy Gillikin said the charges were reduced.

She said she hopes to get her kids back again this time.

"I want my kids back," she said.  “I've dedicated my life to them.  I'm a good parent and I'd do anything for them.”

The Gillikins’ children stayed with family members Wednesday night.  The Gillikins say they look forward to their day in court and clearing this all up.

[viral zone = "home-page-featured"


  • RickyBobby

    Another reason why people should have to take a test to have kids……..what a crappy cycle to grow up in.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      Not everything is as it appears. You are already assuming this to be true and that means you are of low intelligence.

      • sw

        @ricky…What does being well educated have to do with being a good parent? Not that you can tell from an article like this. You don’t have to have a book education to know how to take care of your children. If that was the case none of us would be here since there were not always schools. You make yourself look like an idiot.

      • Justice

        Dustin is assuming that Ricky is assuming “this” to be true. That means Dustin is of very low intelligence. What a sanctimonious crock.

  • M.L. Adams

    This story smells like three day old fish! A ten-month old baby removed a screen and two toddlers crawled out onto the roof…and didn’t fall off of the roof?

    It wouldn’t be the first time law enforcement officers fabricated evidence/testimony in order to obtain an end that they thought was justified. I suspect that despite their concern about the ‘condition and cleanliness of the town home,’ they knew that they had no where near enough reason to remove the children, and embellished the story in order to justify their removal. You notice that the authorities didn’t respond to the mother’s accusations. by naming/quoting the person(s) who ‘witnessed’ the incident.

    • JJM

      Nice reading comprehension… The 10 month old was found in a playpen… the toddlers removed the screen and went out onto the roof is the story. If the house was as messy as the report says, who says the screen was actually in place and not already knocked out of the window. The department of social services does not want people’s kids. This woman and her husband are repeat offenders. Why in the world would you jump to the conclusion that she is right and they are wrong?

      • JJM

        I see why you said it, but think for goodness sake. The mom says the 3 year old told her that the 10 month old did it? really? Why would you think that those are the facts then? Kids blame their brother or sister all the time, they learn that very early. I don’t buy it.

    • Beth Lambert

      I agree with you. Something about this story doesn’t sound right. And as parents, when your children are asleep, parents usually take advantage of that and sleep too. If the kids woke up, and were being quiet, I can understand how the parents would still be asleep. Having a 3 year old, 2 year old, and a 10 month baby, I am sure those parents are exhausted. My question is, what time of day was it? Who supposedly saw this? Was any of this captured on the dash cam as the officers pulled up? Once you have had a problem with DHS involving children, they are notorious for “finding” things to harass you with for years, whether or not any of them can be substantiated.

  • lori tanner

    huh…with three small kids when is it a good time to sleep? society forgets parents are people too. The best investigator could never predict what a healthy child might do all the time. And why did the witness call cops instead of quickly alerting the parents?

    • jenny

      VERY good point. In fact, why didnt the neighbor(s) try to help the children themselves? In the time it takes to call the cops, or even call the mom, the kids could have fallen off the roof. And I agree, just WHEN is a mom supposed to sleep, especially if one of the kids kept her up all night? I love how non-parents judge parents all the time. If you have reason to believe your children are safe in the house and cannot get out on their own or get into things inside the house, there is no reason not to sleep while they play. Obviously, this house needs to be checked out, though, bc a child shouldn’t be able to get the window open, let alone the screen. And in this weather, the windows shouldnt be open to begin with. Yes, something is suspiçious here.

    • VA mama

      I’m sorry but as a mother, if the kids are napping and I am tired, I nap too. What mother doesn’t do this???
      Now I don’t believe her story 100% just like I don’t trust the cops story 100%.

    • sw

      You are an idiot. First by accusing someone of being a meth addict when you don’t even know them and there has been no mention of drugs. Two if you ever did research on meth addicts they rarely sleep.

  • bobby

    if you have children this small you do not sleep while they are awake,Um maybe you sleep at night when they do,geez.common sense.Man I am sure glad my parents were smarter then you people.I mean is it ok to go out and leave them home to.If there is no evidence then it will come out in court.Here is a dumb idea,if you wanna sleep whenever you want then put off having children,I know mind blowing,isnt it?

    • sw

      your parents might have been smart but you don’t seem to be. They have three children under the age of 4 and small children don’t always sleep at night. I take it you haven’t raised any babies. Stop assuming you know these people and the habits of their children.

  • Demetria Claytor

    I’m confused here. The 10 month old baby opened the window, right? So did she climb out of the playpen in the parents’ room, crawl/waddle into the other bedroom, open the screen, make it back into the parents’ room and climb back into the playpen? There’s more to the story here. These people already have a record for committing “crimes detrimental to their children’s welfare”, it would be naïve to assume that they’re just being picked on by the cops. Any mothers out there who can sleep that soundly?

  • kristi

    If the police couldn’t get them to come to the door, why in the world would you think that the neighbors could. The neighbors were there trying to help and from the coverage that I saw were even trying to get them down. I wish someone had pulled out that cell phone and took a picture or video of them up there. Two parents of three young children have no business being asleep at 10:30 in the morning. Witnesses will testify in court, I bet!

  • JoHo

    These people are 2 time losers. Time for another Stupid Judge to smack them on the wrist again, and the kids can pay the price.

  • Ashley Moore

    This is ridiculous. Unbelievable. If you go to you can read the article/comments there. The officers that arrived on the scene had they’re names published. The mother being charged was actually stupid enough to try and defend herself to others on the forum with her own comments. Her comments even contradict what she has said in this article. There may be something fishy going on, but it isn’t on the officer’s side. Why on Earth would you go to sleep while you’re children are awake? Hopefully they get more than a slap on the wrist this time.

    • sw

      Where does it say anywhere that they went to sleep while the children were awake. Children do wake up before parents. Children awake during the middle of the night. Toddlers can be very quiet also. I am really tired of people assuming they know what happened in this house. If you think that once you clear yourself with CPS if someone has ever anonymously reported you then think again. You have to threaten to sue them and then they will still continue to harrass you unless you are lucky enough to get a social worker who actually has some morals. I am not defending these parents because I do not know what happened for sure but I will not throw them under the bus either for the very same reason.

  • Dawn

    It was 1030 in the morning, look the the fredericksburg free lance star for the story. You will see that neighbors witnessed this.

    • sw

      Are you telling me that not one neighbor had a cell phone with a camera on it and didn’t take a single picture of those kids on the roof?? That alone seems fishy to me. People love to take pictures of someone else’s problems.

  • Rosa

    I am not here to judge them. They may have made some poor decisions as parents non-intentional, but I can see she loves her children. If the story is in fact true about them up on that roof top, I’m hoping she didn’t think they could go through a window. Maybe it never crossed her mind. Maybe they do need some guidance of what could potentially be a hazard. My prayer is that if they do desire to be great parents, that they do get the help and guidance they need in order for their children to be a part of their lives. Officers see a lot of horrible parents making horrible decisions and naturally assume a child is being neglected if something doesn’t look right from the get go and want to protect that child. I can see both point of views and can only hope the best for the children.

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