CHESTER - Concealed behind a tidy room equipped with poker tables and video gambling machines, a South Carolina man held his wife and two sons captive for nearly four years, authorities say.
Authorities believe Danny William Dove kept his family living in squalor in this rural town near the North Carolina state line. Maggots infested the refrigerator. Human waste and used toilet paper littered the floor, and the house smelled like a dead animal, according to police photographs and authorities who visited the home.
"There was chaos everywhere," Chester County Sheriff's Detective Scott Thompson said. "I don't think we'll ever really determine how it happened ... I think he got so wrapped up in drugs and wanting to control everything, nothing else mattered."
The young boys, ages 4 and 8, didn't go to school. Their own grandmother says they're hard to understand unless they're cursing. Police say the boys were rarely allowed out of the house.
Dove, 45, plied his wife, Tamara, with prescription painkillers, cocaine and crack and forbade her to go outside, police said. On Thursday, the 37-year-old mother was still not lucid enough to be interviewed, Thompson said.
"People don't understand why she just doesn't leave," Thompson said. "But with a little intimidation and a lot of drug use, this is what they grew to know as normal life."
Dove was charged with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of criminal conspiracy, operating a gambling establishment and two counts of child neglect. He remained in jail Thursday without bond. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.