Florida couple arrested for alleged child abuse

Published 1:32 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Shannon Kehoe, 27, and Cole Gerhardt, 31, were arrested on Tuesday, July 25, each on three counts of alleged willful child abuse. Initially, the couple was apprehended on Sunday, April 2, for allegedly possessing prescription drugs, public intoxication, and child welfare endangerment.

Kehoe and Gerhardt purportedly appear to have been living out of a car with their three children and were passing through Pelham on their way to another state.

Witnesses would later call the police after witnessing Kehoe and Gerhardt get into an alleged domestic dispute in a local motel’s parking lot at 3:33 a.m. When police arrived, they arrested the couple for allegedly possessing prescription drugs, public intoxication and child welfare endangerment.

Three children, aged five, three, and one were discovered in the backseat of Kehoe and Gerhardt’s car. All three children were said to allegedly have been covered in filth. No toiletries or extra clothing were found in the vehicle and the children purportedly admitted to being hungry and having not bathed in weeks. One child was purportedly found to have untreated skin lesions.

All of the children were treated at Children’s Hospital to be treated for malnutrition and other issues. Subsequently, they were taken into DHR custody.

Kehoe and Gerhardt hail from Port St. Lucie, Florida. Kehoe has been unemployed for the past six years, and Gerhardt is listed as running his own moving and storage company.  

Kehoe and Gerhardt are expected to attend court for a primary hearing on Thursday, Aug. 17, at 2 p.m. Currently, they are detained at Shelby County jail, both on a $45,000 bond.

The investigation is ongoing and further details will be released as they become available.