Grandmother in teen neglect case posts bond, charges expected Friday

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Steve Sells (left) and Joetta Sells (right)

ANDERSON, Ind. (Dec. 4, 2014) – More details are expected in a case of alleged neglect involving a mentally disabled 15-year-old girl who weighed less than 40 pounds when she was taken to the hospital earlier this week.

The teen’s grandparents, Steve and Joetta Sells, are facing possible charges. Jail records show Joetta Sells was released after she posted 10 percent of a $10,000 bond.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings told FOX59 he expects to file formal charges on Friday. He said Steve Sells is scheduled for a video hearing on Friday morning.

Cummings is weighing possible charges of neglect of a dependent, battery and criminal confinement.

A detective with the Anderson Police Department said the girl’s condition has not improved. He said doctors describe it as “day to day.”

On Monday, police responded to the hospital after medical staff alerted them to the teen’s condition. The 15-year-old weighed less than 40 pounds and was covered in feces. She was airlifted to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, where she is currently being cared for.

The 15-year-old girl was living with her grandparents in the 3400 block of Forest Terrace. Police believe the girl was being kept in a locked room with a mattress, space heater, bucket and had only oatmeal to eat. During a search of the room, they found blood and feces on the floor.

The Madison County Prosecutor said government assistance could be a motive in this case of alleged neglect. The couple received $720 per month from the government to take care of the teen.

Police arrested Steve Sells on Monday and his wife Joetta on Tuesday. Joetta Sells is not biologically related to the girl.

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