Three charged in child neglect investigation in Wells County

WELLS COUNTY, N.D. – State prosecutors have filed charges against three people stemming from an investigation into child neglect in the city of Harvey.

Prosecutors have charged 30-year-old Katy Woods, 36-year-old David Delzer, and 31-year-old Brett Van Dam all with four counts of C-felony child neglect, and one count of A-misdemeanor maintaining a public nuisance, according to online records.

According to the criminal affidavit, investigators found three children living in filthy conditions in Woods’ home in 2016. Court records indicate that Woods struck a deal on misdemeanor charges that July and was ordered to take parenting classes while the children lived with social services.

The children were reunited with Woods in 2019 when the home was deemed clean, and social services continued to follow up with the family.

Investigators say the family relocated to a new home in 2018.

Court records indicate that investigators looked into several reports between 2017 and 2019 of children not being bathed, wearing dirty clothes, or not being dressed warm enough for the conditions.

In November of 2019, a state health inspector found animal feces and rubbish in the hallways, and deemed the residence not healthy for habitation.

In January of 2020, investigators looked into a report that a fourth child, born in December of 2019, was not being fed properly and was dirty.

Later that month, the building inspector for Harvey and the Wells County Sheriff deemed the home a public nuisance.

All three entered not guilty pleas to the charges Wednesday, according to online records.

Future court hearings have not been set.