Thanks to the generosity of a few local residents, the disabled family in New London had a heat source this weekend.
Two residents and the Salvation Army, brought them a space heater which Helen Searl, the mother of Fredrick and Scott Biller, bundled up in front of wrapped in a comforter Friday afternoon.
On the front of the mobile home, padlocks are secured on the entrance doors of the family's West Washburn residence.
The Huron County Job and Family Services division of the Adult Protective Services office was closed Friday, so no information could be obtained as to what the family's case-worker, Nakita McCann, is doing about the situation.
Fire Chief John Chapin is launching an investigation into whether the padlocks are a violation of any fire and safety codes on Monday, he said Friday evening.
"I can't call the Richland County State Fire Marshal's Office on a weekend unless there has been a suspicious fire. But, I can take a drive past there in the morning and make a suggestion (to remove the padlocks)," Chapin said.
Saturday and Sunday, the padlocks remained on the family's mobile home, sometimes with the padlock hanging open and other times with the locks closed.
The home is owned by Lillian Thompson, of Ohio 60, Greenwich, according to municipal and country records. Thompson owns several properties in New London, according to the county auditor's website.
Thompson sued Searl in 2004 for the title of the mobile home for less than $500 in back rent owed on the lot, according to Norwalk Municipal Court records.
The approximate 780-square-foot home was built in 1982 and is currently valued at $4,100, according to the Huron County auditor's website.
Thompson has known that the mobile home's furnace has been inoperable for some time, but has not fixed it, according to the family's close friend Scott Kidd, also a New London resident.
"They used the cooking stove for years to heat the house now," Kidd said. But, the stove broke and the family was left without heat as the temperatures dropped this fall.
Kidd has known Scott Biller all his life and has watched over the family as best as he could, he said.
Kidd has a file of the agencies and people he has personally contacted advocating for help for the family. However, he has run into obstacle after obstacle and has had no luck finding any assistance for them. Most recently, Kidd called McCann, but she hasn't returned his calls, he said.
Kidd has also contacted Christie Lane, an agency specializing in children and adults with disabilities, but they haven't been able to offer any help. "I keep calling them and asking what is taking so long, but they say there's a waiting list," Kidd said.
"(The agencies) bounce me all over the place.... It's very frustrating," Kidd said.
Searl said she has lived in the village for 74 years. She will turn 75 this year.
"(Searl) has worked her ass off for years to keep her family together," Kidd said.
Searl said she doesn't mind moving with her family to Norwalk or Sandusky, but she's not leaving without her three dogs.
"I got these dogs right off the street and I'm not going anywhere without them," Searl said.
Her son Scott is 52 and Fredrick, who has been the subject of several police calls in the last two months, is 42, Searl said.
Fredrick was deemed incompetent to stand trial in 1992 by the Huron County Common Pleas Court for an unknown felony charge, according to court records. The case was dismissed as a result.
Meanwhile, Fredrick Biller has been charged in Norwalk Municipal Court for gross sexual imposition, aggravated menacing, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing, obstructing official business in the years spanning from 1991 to the February. Most recently, he was charged with misusing the 9-1-1- emergency service.
Fredrick has reportedly the intellectual abilities of a person between the age of 5 to 10 years old, Kidd said.
Searl is both physically and intellectually disabled. Scott Biller graduated from high school and works odd jobs in the village, but also has intellectual disabilities, Kidd said.
As far as getting the family suitable housing, Kidd has also tried to help them find a new residence with no success.
Landlords in town are refusing to rent to the family, he said. Police Chief Mike Marko confirmed the landlords' responses in an earlier interview.
Kidd attempted to buy a home listed for sale for about $30,000, but couldn't get a bank to finance it. So, Kidd contacted the owner of the home and asked if he would consider renting it to the family, he said.
The owner is Carl Ours II, according to the Huron County auditor's website.
"(Ours) told me, 'Just buy it. I don't want to deal with them.' And, then he turned around and rented it to someone else," Kidd said.
Kidd got the same type of response from landlords who had homes listed for rent on North Railroad and Washburn streets, he said.