Police: 5 children transported in cargo area of U-Haul, couple arrested

Brian Dekam (Source: Elyria Police)
Brian Dekam (Source: Elyria Police)
Jamie Adkins (Source: Elyria Police)
Jamie Adkins (Source: Elyria Police)

ELYRIA, OH (WOIO) - Two city workers in Elyria are being hailed as heroes after they saved five children from the back of a sweltering U-Haul truck.

One of the children, a toddler, had passed out from the heat. On top of that, police say the conditions were filthy.

It was a typical Wednesday for Matt Pearce and Nick Vealey, who work for the Elyria Street Department,  until they stopped at a Speedway on Lorain Boulevard. They stopped dead in their tracks on the way into the store -- they'd noticed children in the back of a U-Haul box van.

The door was open, and when they took a closer look, they noticed it was pitch dark, had no ventilation, and the temperature outside was in the 90s.

They said there was two dogs in the back as well, along with cigarettes and an ash tray.

Jamie Adkins, 25, said she was babysitting. Police arrested her and the driver, 55-year-old Brian Dekam, and charged them with endangering children.

Adkins and Dekam are friends of the children's mother. They said she knew the kids were being taken to a flea market in the U-Haul.

Elyria police said the children in the back of the truck ranged in age from two, three, four, six and 15 years old. They had lice, bedbugs, ringworm and fleas.

They're all doing OK now, and the youngest kids have been placed in foster care.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, you can call 855-O-H-CHILD and be linked to child welfare or police.

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