Cave Spring trio charged with aggravated animal cruelty and cruelty to children in Floyd County

According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, On Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023, Officer Walters was advised by the Coosa School social worker about a litter and abatement case that was leading to possible child neglect at 1681 Chubb Road. On Tuesday, January 10th, 2023, Officer Wade and Officer Walter went to 1681 Chubb Road. Officer Wade reported, “Upon arrival, [I] observed a large amount of trash and debris leading up the hillside near the mailbox that read “1681” on Chubb Road. PFC Walter and [I] then drove up the driveway to make contact with a homeowner. When we exited the vehicle, [I] observed an immense amount of trash and a large brown dog running at large. [I] then observed loose running water coming from underneath the home and a large secondary dog tied to a small pole in a dirt patch. There was a secondary dog house with a chain to the left of the driveway where there was no dog. While walking to the front porch, PFC Walters and [I] saw a plethora of soiled diapers, soiled food, an abundance of household trash, and multiple broken-down vehicles. Throughout the yard, there were four trash bins that were topped off with trash surrounding them and multiple soiled mattresses. PFC Walters and [I] then knocked on the front door, which was not properly secured. Through the front door, PFC Walters and [I] could smell a very strong odor of urine emerging from the residence as well. Officers were eventually able to make contact with Austin Ferris Byess, 47, of Cave Spring, who answered the door. Austin then got his brother, Albert Forster Byess, 47, of Cave Spring, who was the father to two of the children. FCPD Officers reported in great detail the extreme condition the house and property were in. According to the report, Albert was adamant that the “front half” was his brother’s area, and he did not have any duty to maintain it. Officer Walters could barely open the door enough to fit through the door frame due to the amount of trash and other items inside. Officer Wade reported the smell of urine was so strong that she felt an extreme burning sensation up her nose. There was an abundant amount of trash and spoiled food on the floor and small side tables. They then met Austin in the kitchen, where he was attempting to clean up. There were multiple piles of animal feces and urine spots that covered the kitchen floor. Austin then stated that he tries to clean up, but he has a difficult time breathing and cannot do too much cleaning at once. Albert stated that he, his two children, his brother, his sister-in-law, her daughter, his mother, and his other brother all lived within the home. Officer Walters reported she could easily feel the Shepard’s ribs, hip bones, and spine. She could also feel his stomach, which did not seem to have any food in it and was sunken in. She reported the Shepard was either a BSC 1 or 2 and contacted animal control to have someone en route to the location. Officers were advised that Robin Leighann Smith, 37, Cave Spring, and her child were at the doctor’s due to her child also being sick. Officer advised the child was most likely sick due to the grey water and the terrible conditions in the house. While speaking with DFCS on the property, Robin Smith arrived back at the property, and all three children were taken into DFCS custody. Robin Smith, Austin Byess, and Albert Byess were all taken to the Floyd County Jail charged with cruelty to children in the 1st degree and three counts of contribution to the deprivation of a child resulting in serious injury or death x3, and aggravated cruelty to animals.

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