A Snellville couple was arrested this week after allegedly leaving an infant outside in a cold car — while they were having sex inside their trash-, urine- and feces-filled home.
Louis Thomas Cope and Katrina Marie Norman’s encounter with police began on the afternoon of Feb. 13, when a Gwinnett County animal control officer responded to their home of Highpoint Road in reference to “an animal complaint.” According to an incident report, the animal control officer contacted Gwinnett County police after discovering a minivan “with an infant inside and the driver’s and passenger door completely open.”
The average temperature that day was 32 degrees.
Both officers got no answer at the front door, the report said, but Norman, 32, came outside after several minutes. She was wearing “a pink one piece lace suit” and a blanket. Cope eventually came to the door as well.
“Based on their appearance,” the police officer wrote in their report, “it appeared they had left the child in the vehicle while having intercourse.”
Cope, 23, reportedly told police that he and Norman had just returned from buying groceries, which they were unloading into the house when Norman “surprised him with the pink lingerie.” Attempting to corroborate assertions that the child hadn’t been unsurpevised for long, Cope said he and Norman did not engage in intercourse at that point — because he put a dog collar on Norman and told her to “stay” while he went back out to the car.
Both parents said the infant — a boy born in 2014 — was alone in the car for only a few minutes, but the police officer noted that the home’s front door had been locked and that authorities had been on scene for nearly 15 minutes before making contact with them.
Police then entered the home.
Inside, they “immediately smelled a strong odor of urine and feces” and “trash thrown about the floor and a folded dirty mattress partially obstructing the door.” The kitchen was “very dirty and unsanitary” and the children’s bedrooms contained animal feces and “so much trash on the ground I could not walk without watching where I was stepping.”
“I saw a knife lying on the ground within reach for a child to grab and hurt themselves,” the incident report said.
The aforementioned infant and two other children living in the home — born in the 2005 and 2007 — were deprived, police said.
Cope and Norman were arrested Thursday and charged with maintaining a disorderly house and second-degree cruelty to children, a felony. Gwinnett County jail records showed both have since been released after posting $16,900 bond.
Online booking sheets also described tattoos adorning both suspect’s bodies.