Local Residents Arrested On Child Abuse And Animal Cruelty Charges
July 23, 2009
Two Century residents were arrested Wednesday on child abuse and animal cruelty charges related to a young teen living in a mobile home in “squalor” and multiple animals living without food or water.
Steven Wayne Billiot, 57, and Faye Marie Kyle, 48, were arrested Wednesday on charges of confinement of animals without sufficient food, water or exercise. Billiot was also charged with aggravated child abuse, and Kyle was charged with child neglect. Both remained in the Escambia County Jail early Thursday morning on $7,500 bond each.
The arrests stemmed from an exclusive NorthEscambia.com story from July 10. The events began after authorities discovered a horse, a donkey, four goats, two pigs and dog were found living without food and water at a mobile home outside Century; and a young teen was found in their mobile home living in what deputies described as “squalor”.
The animals were discovered July 9 at mobile home at 2390 Highway 168, where rescuers say they had been living for days without water or food. The horse named Champagne was tied to a tree with an extension cord at the rear of the trash-covered property. Her ribs were clearly visible as she stood in an unfenced circle of dirt surrounded by tall grass. She had tried so hard to get to the grass that was just outside her reach that her bridle had worn a large sore on her head. Deputies said that when they provided water for Champagne the horse, she drank nearly a five gallon bucket of water.
Deputies applied child neglect warrant because of a young male teen living in the single wide mobile home on the property. The home had no apparent air conditioning and deputies described the living conditions inside the home as deplorable — full of cockroaches, dirty dishes, exposed electrical wiring, holes in the floor and filth. The Department of Children and Families was called to the scene to investigate the living conditions of the child.
The two small pigs were living in a crudely constructed pen made of wire and wood. The dirt in the pen was dry and dusty, according to deputy James Moretz, when he discovered it. There was no water in the pen for the pigs.
The four goats were in a wire pen, also with no water. The donkey was tied to a tree in the front yard of the mobile home, again, with no water. And the dog, also tied a tree in the front yard, appeared to be malnourished and had no water.
Panhandle Equine Rescue, a non-profit group authorized by the court system to investigate equine cruelty in Escambia County, seized the horse and donkey. After difficulty getting any other agency to remove the goats and pigs, PER seized them as well. All of the animals were transported to an area veterinarian for treatment. Click here for a story about how animal control and a livestock officer refused to respond to the scene.
The dog was seized as evidence by a crime scene investigator with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department and transported to the Escambia County Animal Shelter in Pensacola.
This was not the first time an animal cruelty incident involving Billiot and Kyle had been investigated at the home. The couple voluntarily surrendered two starving horses, Raver and Racer, to PER in April 2008. There were no charges filed in the incident due to the voluntary surrender. (Raven and Racer are pictured left, click to enlarge.)
Deputies also called Escambia County Code Enforcement to the property to investigate conditions inside and outside of the mobile home.
Click here for more NorthEscambia.com exclusive photos from the rescue, the animals and the property. (Some readers may find some of the photographs in the photo gallery to be disturbing.)
Pictured top: This horse was found without food or water at a mobile home on Highway 168 Thursday afternoon. The horse was unable to reach the grass in the photo because of being tied to a tree. Pictured inset: Deputies James Moretz and Randy Murph remove goats from the property. Pictured below: The backyard of the mobile home were the animals were located. NorthEscambia.com exclusive photos, click to enlarge.