Written by E. George
Published April 5, 2023 @ 9:40 PM ET
Warning: The following story contains information regarding the neglect of children.
Floyd County (March 20, 2023) – A social worker emailed authorities her concerns about a Denson Lane household in which the children frequently smelled of ammonia and feces, showered at school, and wore school-donated clothing. The four juvenile males were ages 11, 12, 15, and 16.
Upon arrival, dog feces littered the home’s front yard, and the officer from the Floyd County Police Department could not help but walk through it. Even before knocking on the front door, the officer and social worker smelled the pungent ammonia odor emanating from within and heard multiple dogs barking inside.
When the suspect, Tina Marie Bovee, opened the door, the officer noticed a hole in the floor, right in front of the threshold, with a piece of wood nailed on top of it. The ammonia smell was so strong that the officer’s eyes began to water.
Bovee requested that the visit be held later because she had injured her back and needed assistance from her children to get the dogs in their kennels. While waiting for the children to arrive home from school, the officer and social worker met with an investigator and an animal control officer at the mobile home community entrance.
The social worker showed the officer that an outfit belonging to one of the children smelled heavily of animal urine. The shirt had multiple stains, the jeans had dried feces and an unknown white substance caked on them, and the jacket had a piece of gum with dirt and hair stuck to it.
When they returned to the residence for a walk-through, Bovee’s sons had kenneled the dogs, and she apologized for the conditions and blamed the canines for the mess.
One of her sons led them inside, and the officer saw two male dogs to the right, two puppies in a kennel above one of the male dogs, the remaining puppies from the litter in a pen, and a smaller female dog near the puppies. The area that held the puppies was filled with urine and feces.
Every dog’s water and food bowl lay empty, and the puppies’ bowls had urine and feces on them. At this point, the smell of ammonia grew so strong that the social worker needed to remain outside.
The flooring throughout the entire home contained an abundance of uncleaned urine stains and piles of new and old animal feces. The officer noted that the couch was soiled with animal urine, drink stains, and old food.
There were pieces of moldy food and cigarette ash underneath the side tables and caked-on animal feces on the sides of the kennels, the space between them, and the walls behind them. Urine dripped down the walls to the baseboards from where the dogs had sprayed.
The kitchen floor and counters were covered in spoiled food, and one of the children said that the old spaghetti was his from multiple days prior. Dirty dishes cluttered the countertops, and the bottom of the stove was covered with sticky old food, animal urine, and feces.
There were holes in the walls and rotten food piled in a corner and on a wet patch in the middle of the room. The outside of the refrigerator was smeared with what appeared to be spoiled damp flour, and the floor underneath was filled with brown, sticky, rotten food and feces.
The officer saw cockroaches, mold, spilled substances, and spoiled food inside the horrible-smelling fridge and a large piece of raw meat that had leaked blood onto the drawers. Inside the freezer, they found more cockroaches, dirt, and a few packages of meat.
There were piles of feces hidden underneath a pot in front of the refrigerator and dirty dishes on top of the extremely filthy stove. The officer saw maggots, flies, and small bugs flying all over the kitchen and had to swat them away.
The hallway air vent was smeared with feces, and the laundry room was full of animal urine and feces-soaked clothing. The mud-stained deep freezer in the living room had two gallons of expired milk and dead cockroaches inside.
The officer noticed a turtle tank and could barely locate the pet inside because the water was so dirty and green. Gloves were needed to move the chewed-up foam mattress on the hallway floor leading to the boys’ rooms due to the amount of urine and feces on it.
They saw roaches, soiled clothing, spoiled food, and animal urine and feces under the mattress. The first bedroom belonged to the two eldest sons and contained a stack of four mattresses saturated with animal urine and covered in fecal stains.
There were holes and drawings on the walls and more feces on the floor. The wall above the mattress stack appeared to have feces smeared on it too.
A small white shelf above the bed contained dead maggots and flies surrounding a black sticky spill. Animal feces was smeared on all the sides of a laundry basket in the center of the room.
The younger boys’ bedroom contained a feces-covered floor, and the closet was swarmed with flies and maggots. Between two bunkbeds lay a blanket and pillow where one of the children slept; the area was soaked in urine and feces.
The officer observed exposed wiring in a hole above the light switch and could not locate any clean articles of clothing in either bedroom. The boys’ bathroom door had feces smeared on the bottom right corner and flies buzzing out of the crack.
The swarm of bugs and overwhelming stench of feces caused the officer to run outside and vomit. Once no longer ill, the officer returned to the bathroom and saw used toilet paper wiped with feces on the countertop and human feces, soaked toilet paper, flies, and maggots filling the sink.
Two toothbrushes also sat in the sink, and one of the boys stated that is where they brush their teeth. There was a thick black film of moldy feces inside the toilet, and the seat was caked with dried urine and feces.
The number of bugs in the bathtub/shower and the wretched smell caused the officer to gag. There were spiders and webs all over the ceiling and more roaches and feces-stained toilet paper under the sink.
The officer stepped outside again to breathe fresh air before moving on to the parent’s bedroom. There was a heavy stale cigarette smoke odor, feces and soiled clothing covering the floor, and a trash bag filled with rotten food among the clothes.
One of the boys showed the officer his feet and stated that they were clean because he was wearing socks. There were feces stuck in between his toes, underneath his toenails, and on the soles of his feet.
The officer’s eyes began to water from the ammonia in the air, requiring stepping outside once more. The ammonia reader revealed 008, 010, and 014, meaning that the children were breathing in 8%-14% of pure ammonia out of 100% of clean air.
Bovee surrendered the puppies to animal control, and DCFS took custody of the four boys. Once the children were placed in a safe foster home, officers arrested Bovee and transported her to Floyd County Jail.
The officer also obtained a warrant for Michael Bovee, which was served by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department the following day.
Tina Bovee was charged with four counts of first-degree cruelty to children – deprivation of necessary sustenance and four counts of contributing to the deprivation of a child not resulting in serious injury or death. This case is currently pending in court.
[Please note: The following is a direct transcription from the official initial incident report. The Georgia Gazette does not fix any spelling or grammatical errors that may exist. Any changes or redactions made by our staff are placed inside brackets. Some errors may exist. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The topics discussed may be sensitive to some readers. Discretion is advised.]
On 03/20/2023 at 0931 hours I received an email from [WITNESS #1] (Social Worker from Armuchee District) that contained a DCFS Referral for [600 BLOCK] Denson Lane, Rome Georgia 30165. [WITNESS #1] expressed her concerns regarding the children due to the frequent smell of ammonia and feces on the children. [WITNESS #1] stated in the email that the children shower at school and are provided with clean clothes from the school that the school has purchased for the children.
[WITNESS #1] and I then went to the above address the same day at 1342 hours to speak with a parent. As I was approaching the residence, I stepped in piles of feces throughout the yard. When I knocked on the front door, I could smell a very strong odor of ammonia protruding from the home. I heard multiple dogs barking from inside of the residence. I then made contact with Tina Bovee (Mother).
When Tina opened the front door, I observed a hole in the flooring just inside of the front door, a piece of wood that was nailed down on top of the hole, and the smell of ammonia was so pungent that my eyes began to water. Tina requested that we come back at a later time due to her having an injured back and could not put the dogs inside of the kennels without assistance from her children. I agreed to come back around 1500-1530 hours to conduct a walk through of the house, in which Tina agreed too.
I met with [WITNESS #1], Animal Control and Inv. Guzman at the entrance to the mobile home community park. While waiting for the children to arrive at home, [WITNESS #1] handed me a bag that has clothes inside of it from [VICTIM #1]. [WITNESS #1] stated that she allowed [VICTIM #1] to come home today in the clothes that the school purchased for him to show me and Tina the conditions of the clothes.
The jeans were dirty with what appeared to be dried feces and a white substance near the foot hole. The jeans smelled heavy of animal urine. The shirt was an orange collared shirt that had multiple stains on them and also smell of animal urine. The jack was a grey and smelled of animal urine with a piece of chew gum stuck to it that had collected dirt and hair. I placed the clothes back into the bag and gave them back to [WITNESS #1] to return to Tina.
On 03/20/2023 at approximately 1529 hours I returned to the residence with [WITNESS #1], Inv. Guzman and Animal Control. Tina had her sons ([VICTIM #1], [VICTIM #2], [VICTIM #3] and [VICTIM #4]) assist her in putting the dogs away in a contained area so we could make entry safely into the home. Tina allowed me to enter into the residence and apologized for the conditions of the home, stating it was the dogs whom keep the house a mess.
[VICTIM #4] showed me inside of the home. When I took my first step into the residence, there was the nailed down piece of wood that was securing the floor. I observed two larger male dogs to the right, two puppies in a kennel above one of the male dogs, the rest of the litter of puppies in a pen, and one smaller sized female near the puppies. The area in which the puppies were contained was filled with urine and feces.
The food and water bowls were empty for every dog, and had feces and urine on the bowls that were contained with the puppies. The smell of ammonia was so strong that [WITNESS #1] had to remain outside of the home. Throughout the flooring of the residence there was an abundance of urine stains were nobody had cleaned up old urine, piles of new and old animal feces.
The couch was soiled with animal urine, drink stains and old food. Underneath the side tables in the living room, there was pieces of molded food and cigarette ash. There was caked on animal feces in between the dogs kennels, behind the kennels onto the wall, and the siding of the kennels. The walls throughout the house had animal urine sprayed across and dripping to the baseboards.
The kitchen was cluttered with dirty dishes throughout the counter tops. There was soiled food on the floor and counters. [VICTIM #4] stated that the spoiled spaghetti was his from multiple days ago. The white portion of the bottom of the stove was covered in what appeared to be animal urine, feces particles and sticky old food. There was dirt build up underneath with rotten food where the drawer itself opens.
There was a corner near the right corner, in the corner there was rotten food, a container lid and a can of food that appeared to be chewed on by a dog. The center of the flooring to the kitchen had a soiled, wet piece of flooring that was covered in soiled food. The siding of the refrigerator has a white substance smeared down the side that appeared to be wet flour that began to spoil at the bottom. The flooring under the fridge was filled with feces, brown sticky food, and an abundance of rotted food.
The stove top contained multiple dirty dishes, soiled food and was in extreme filth. I then opened the refrigerator, when I opened the door I got an instant smell of molded food. There was a small amount of food inside, along with spoiled food like cheese, mayonnaise, and misc items. Inside of the door there were cockroaches, mold and spilled substances that filled throughout the bottom of the fridge as well. There was a large piece of raw meat that appeared to have leaked out the excess blood to the drawers.
The freezer contained a few packs of meat, dirt, and cock roaches. In front of the fridge, I located piles of feces that was hidden underneath a pot, a towel and a soiled mop. Throughout the kitchen there were flies, maggots and small bugs flying around to the point that I had to use my hand to swat the bug away from my face. The walls to the kitchen had holes in it, and had liquids poured down them.
The air vent in the hallway was dirty with feces on the outside. The flooring in front of the air vent was beginning to strip with feces throughout the hallway that people have stepped in and not properly cleaned-up. The laundry room was located to the right and had soiled clothing with animal urine and feces. The laundry was so full that the door was unable to shut.
There was a deep freezer near the living room that had mud smeared across the top. When I opened the lid to the freezer there were dead cockroaches inside with two gallons of expired milk on the floor. Across from the female dog, there was a turtle. The water to the turtle tank was so green and dirty that I was unable to locate the turtle until I looked from the top.
The hallway that lead to the boy’s rooms had a chewed up foam mattress blocking an easy access to the rooms. I had to use gloves to touch the mattress due to the amount of urine and feces on it to be able to slightly move it to walk back. When I lifted the foam piece, cockroaches began to run, soiled food and there was soiled clothes hidden underneath with animal urine and feces.
The area that was between each bedroom had a small ladder that was above an abundance of soiled food, to go food wrappers, molded drinks and piles of feces that have been repeatedly been walked over. Near the window of the hallway there was a brown substance that was dripping down the wall that could be feces or soda that was possible thrown or spilled.
The first bedroom that I went into belonged to [VICTIM #1] and [VICTIM #2] (the two oldest sons). There was a stack of four mattresses that were all covered in fecal stains and saturated in animal urine. The top mattress had a grey fitted sheet over it that was soiled, one white pillow with no pillow case and a soiled blanket with animal urine. I instantly stepped on a pile of feces when I walked through the door way. The walls had holes and drawings all across them. The wall above the stacked mattresses also had a brown substance smeared on it that appeared to be feces.
There was a small white shelve above the bed that had a black sticky substance spilled. Near the spill I located multiple maggots, and dead flies. The laundry basket in the center of the room had animal feces covering the bottom and all sides. The second “bed” did not have any sheets on it. This mattress had multiple large urine stains. The pillow did not have a pillow case on it and had feces on it. There was a dark blue blanket that smelled heavy of ammonia. I did not take many steps inside of this bedroom without stepping in feces.
The second bedroom that I made entry into belonged to the younger boys ([VICTIM #3] and [VICTIM #4]). There were multiple piles of feces that I located smeared into the flooring and the clothes on the floor. The closet door was swarmed with flies and what appeared to be more maggots. On the floor, in between two set of bunk-beds there was a blanket and pillow. [VICTIM #4] informed me that this area was used as his bed.
There was a clean mattress on the top bunk of the set of bed to the right side. There was feces and urine saturating the area in which [VICTIM #4] slept. The bottom bunk was for [VICTIM #3]. There were sheets, a small blanket and pillow that smelled heavy of ammonia. Above the light switch there was a hole were power cords were exposed. I did not locate any clean clothes in either bedroom for the boys. All the clothes on the floor in each room were soiled with urine and feces.
I then went into the bathroom that [VICTIM #4] advised me all the boys use. There was feces smeared in the bottom right corner on the outside of the door and flies coming out of the crack. The door was covered in writing and drawing with a large hole in the wall to the right side. When I opened the bathroom door, I instantly got swarmed with bugs and a smell of feces like I had never smelled before. The smell was so strong, I had to turn around and run out of the house.
When I got outside of the residence I turned off my BWC and had to vomit on the back side of the house. I took a few minutes to gather myself and went back into the residence. Once I walked back to the bathroom the majority of the flies had gathered to the door frame and counter top. The bathroom sink was filled with flies, maggots and human feces soaked toilet paper. There was feces wiped on toilet paper left on the counter top.
I located two tooth brushes inside of the sink in which [VICTIM #4] informed that is where they have brushed their teeth. The toilet had a small amount of water inside and had a thick black film of molded feces in the bottom. The part of the toilet where people sit was covered in dried urine and feces. The lid of the toilet had been removed and set to the right side of the toilet with soiled toilet paper stuck to it and covered in urine. The bottom of the toilet was caked with feces and the flooring was tearing up.
The bathtub/shower had a yellow film to it and when I pulled the shower curtain back I began to gag due to the smell and amount of bugs. The ceiling was filled with spiders and spider webs. Underneath the sink I located more feces soiled toilet paper rolls and cock roaches.
I then went outside to catch my breathe and speak with my other officers. Inv. Guzman contacted DCFS on my behalf.
Once I went back into the residence I went into the parents bedroom. There was an abundance of soiled clothes spread throughout the floor. The room smelled of strong smoked cigarettes. I had to watch where I was stepping due to piles of animal feces, again. [VICTIM #4] pointed at a few articles of clothing where I saw more animal feces. In the large piles of clothes there was a black trash bag that was filled with soda and soiled food.
The bathroom smelled very strong of urine and human feces. There was soiled soda drinks all over the counter top of the bathroom. The sink was very dirty and appeared to have mold coating it. I located rotten food on the left side of the sink. The toilet was saturated with feces but had water to flush. Next to the toilet there was soiled toilet paper thrown onto the ground.
[VICTIM #4] then showed me his feet stating that they were clean because he was wearing socks. [VICTIM #4] allowed me to take photos of the top and bottom of his feet. There was feces stuck in-between his toes and under his toe nails. The bottom of [VICTIM #4]’s feet had collected dirt and small articles of feces from walking throughout the home. Written behind the parents bedroom door were the words “f*ck you” and a plethora of dirty hand prints.
My eyes began to water to the point where I had to step outside of the home again from the ammonia in the air. While inside I used my ammonia reader. The reader had produced the numbers; 008, 010 and 014. This meter reads out of 100. This means that there was between 8%-14% of pure ammonia that the children were breathing in out of 100% of clean air. Inhalation of ammonia causes immediate burning of the throat, respiratory tract, nose and eyes. If prolonged breathing of ammonia is happening if can cause someone to feel light headed and even faint. Excessive exposure may even cause skin rashes.
Animal control took possession of all of the puppies while on scene due to Tina signing a surrender form.
Once the children were under DCFS custody and placed into a safe foster home, Tina was placed under arrest. PFC Lanier transported Tina to the Floyd County Jail after I provided him the proper paperwork. I locked Tina’s residence of her behalf and gave the keys to the transporting officer.
Once I left the scene, I went to the station and typed up a criminal warrant for Michael. I then went to Judge Richardson’s residence and had the warrant signed due to the situation involving juveniles. I dropped the arrest warrants and fact sheet with PFC George.
PFC George notified me that they did not serve the warrant and took it to the Floyd County Jail.
Poster with the Floyd County Sherifs department then served the warrant the following day and took Michael into custody with no further incident. I notified Animal Control in regards to the remaining dogs left unattended inside of the residence.
[End of Narrative]