Family’s Landlord Worried About Children’s Welfare

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OLYPHANT -- A ten-month-old child abuse victim from Lackawanna County is still in critical condition.

We now know the man accused of injuring the child is not the father.

Police in Olyphant arrested Eddie Widdick of Jermyn Wednesday night for allegedly injuring that 10-month-old boy. He's facing assault charges.

Widdick told police that he waited several minutes to call 911 when his girlfriend's son stopped breathing because he was afraid he'd get in trouble.

A look at Widdick's Facebook page showed Widdick often spent time with 10-month-old, Silas, and his twin sister Charlize, along with girlfriend Ashley Nelson's three other young children. Widdick told police he was angry when he squeezed baby Silas and hit his head against a crib.

A day after the arrest, Nelson's landlord and a code enforcement officer from Olyphant went through the home he rents to Nelson and her children.

"Last Friday I was holding the baby, and now he's in the situation, you know? I feel responsible, but that's all I could do, you know?" said Kevin Cavanaugh, the landlord.

The landlord said he never saw any signs of abuse on any of Nelson's children, but he said he and at least one neighbor on Delaware Avenue called Lackawanna County Children and Youth Services because of the condition of the house, and the children didn't look clean.

"As time went on over the last three or four weeks I became more concerned with the children's welfare because I kept seeing dirty, dirty diapers, children crying upset all the time. When I went in there those kids ran right to me, and they didn't even know me," said Cavanaugh.

When baby Silas stopped breathing Wednesday morning and Widdick called police, Nelson's four other children and two more children were taken out of the home. Police said they saw bruises on at least some of those children.

Neighbors said Nelson and Widdick kept to themselves, so they never sensed something was wrong.

We spoke with an official with Lackawanna County Children and Youth Services who said he couldn't talk specifically about the children in this case.

However, he said if complaints were made, a case worker would have visited Nelson's home in Olyphant.


  • ty

    I’m so sorry to hear about the children, and the lost of a child, That young man, will go to state prison, He will get his. What the hell is wrong with people hurting kids, Where was the rest of the family? What was the mother doing where was she when all this was going on…. The bible says God forgives but that doesn’t mean he wont be punished… There isn’t a hell hot enough for him to burn in…. AS for CYS.. they should be investigated. The F.E.D.’s need to step in…..

  • Joanna

    CYS in that County SUCK! They are so backed up with cases they only take the worse ones. They drop the kids off and then you never hear from them again. Most of the time, they will not even follow up on a call. Yep, good old CYS. What’s the point of calling them, they do nothing.

  • luvshorses

    No amount of name-calling, blame, etc. will ever make this situation any better, at least not for the baby that suffered so much in so little time on this earth. He could never even express if he were sad because if he cried, it angered a self-absorbed, self-entitled criminal whose only concern in life seemed to be “weed”. And for those saying that anyone stating what they can see on his FB page is placing blame on him.. then, tell me, where should the blame be? CYS should have been more diligent with this, true. They were called, it was their duty, what they were being paid for, to care for the welfare of the innocents in this situation. But, I also question the family of both of these adults who should have seen these children more often than CYS. Words are so easy to roll out of anyone’s mouths. Donning an angry mode after the death is irrelevant because it was anger that created this death in the first place. Anger never solves anything, but increases the problems all the time.
    For those that think it is harsh to mandate sterilization, why? You are stating that CYS should have been involved. If there was no way there could be more children brought into what was an already tenuous living condition, one father in jail (oh, that is right, how stupid am I, he was trying to provide for the family by taking from another.. duh!!!!!), and a new boyfriend only 2 months after the father is arrested? How does anyone go from loving someone that you had children with to laying down with another in that short amount of time? It would have been so much kinder, gentler, for sterilization to have been mandated for the mom in order for her getting the assistance for the others she could not afford to pay for by herself. How does a rational human being bring a miracle of a child into a world where they do not know how they can provide a proper living for that child? Food, clothes, schooling, etc? It is selfish to keep giving birth and not being able to take care of them without someone/everyone else helping.
    Silas I am so sorry.

    • woody452

      I agree! To become a foster parent, you have to jump through hoops. Background checks, physicals, make sure you can financially care for the child. So why not make ALL potential parents do the same thing? If you can not care for a child, you do not have the means to support it and you are mentally unstable or on drugs, you have no business having children. Having a child should not be a freedom. As someone who physically can not have children, I tried to foster them. it was the worst experience of my life because of CYS. They do nothing! They do not answer the phone when you call them and they could care less about the kids. The higher ups are even worse. This is just a paycheck to them. I had to go through so much background testing and such to become a foster parent. So why should anyone else be able to have a child and not have to go through the same thing? we would have less situations like this and less people on welfare if background testing was completed on everyone.

  • llong

    Some one just posted the baby has passed away. that is so sad at least now the baby is in good hands and there is a very special angel out here now. Hope the so called scum of a mom n piece of crap that killed that baby rot n jail.

  • Justice 4 Silas

    Unfortunately baby Silas did not make it! RIP Silas👼😥🙏
    I hope Ashley and Eddie both rot their sorry pathetic miserable lives away in prison!

  • llong

    She is probally getting more money plus food stamps,medical care and housing then a person working a 40 hour a week job. Oh I am sorry I guess that is her job, look’s like she does it well. Hope the kid’s are doing good.

  • guest

    One father is in jail and the other father is a scumbag. Only 5 of the kids were her own kids. She had 2 that she was taking care of that are the guys that is in jail.

  • Mike

    The mother and this scum should be both locked up!
    Now here’s my question. WHERE THE HELL ARE THE FATHERS OF THE OTHER KIDS! What kind of man lets their child live this way? What kind of man lets his child live in complete filth. Hang your head in shame. Your child suffer because you weren’t man enough to step up and do what was right.

    • Sassy

      They are not fathers, they are baby-daddies, They could care less about their little spawns. Happens all the time. When will girls get smart and realize these guys do not want to be fathers.

  • guest

    I saw this guy walk up and down my street almost every day. I always got a negative feeling from him. Now I know why.

  • Me

    I hope someone gives this guy a complete beating of his life. This guy needs his a$$ kicked from pillar to post. And that “mother” of ALL those children should be arrested for endangerment. This is what happens when you open the borders to every low life on God’s green planet. This area wanted animals,…..well,…..look no further. The entire section of Northeast Pa has been overrun by drug dealers, gangs, thieves, and horrible people that have no purpose in life but to sponge off other people, never hold down a job, and sell drugs all day and night.
    I blame the politicians as well for allowing such ignorance, filth, and trash to move into this area. Why don’t they all just go back to New York where everyone lives like animals !!!!

  • Anonymous

    Her brothers would have done something… Are you kidding me she comes from an entire family of dirt balls!

    • CCKM

      Explains the comment on the previous article by someone either less in the know or just plain stupid when there’s stoner stuff all over his FB wall. He should never see the light of day, (one way or the other!), and she should never see her kids again!

  • Anonymous

    She was a single mother taking care of 7 kids from the ages of 5 to 10 months old. Two sets of twins. She also had 2 children that were not blood related to her. Yes the house might have been dirty and as far any bruises go on the bigger kids. Kids rough house and get bruises that doesn’t mean they were getting abused. And yes she did sometimes make bad choices about the men she dated. But how could she have known that this guy was going to hurt her baby. She is not a bad person and she loves her kids more than life itself. She wouldn’t knowingly put her kids is harms way.

    • Guest

      They’ve barely been together for two months…who lets someone you only been with for such a short amount of time sleep with your small children, refer to himself as their father, be alone with them for extended periods of time. If you look at his Facebook, she was “in love” after 15 days? She’s 30, not 13. What the hell did she think was gonna happen, you don’t leave a child alone with a strange dog, and then claim ignorance when it rips it’s face off. Same goss for leaving your children with basically a stranger, who has a documented history of violence.

      • Pat

        Do you want to know who does something like this? A 30 year old scumbag, no job, drain on society with 7 kids from seven guys. She needs to be fixed, and the kids she still has taken off of her permanently.

    • Guest

      Children trust their parents to make the best decisions for them, they trust them with their fragile lives. Two months they’ve been together? There are pictures of him half naked laying in bed with the baby girl in the middle of the night. She’s fully responsible for putting her children in a terrible situation.

      • Guest

        Marijuana didn’t make him violently beat anyone. Keep blaming pot (or whatever vice) and people like him will always have an excuse.

    • Tom Johnson

      Yeah, right, she’s the picture of motherhood. She should give lessons on how to raise children. Face it, she’s a bum and a loser. Sleeping & reproducing with whoever would have her.
      Bruises on all these kids, does she ever bathe them??? Oh, that’s right, they don’t get washed. She needs to get more time than him.

  • disgusted

    It is terrible she should be in jail right along with him. She is just as guilty. I pray for those kids and hopefully they are with the right people. They don’t belong with her family, she doesn’t deserve to see them. She’s sick for even trusting 23 year old man she’s at least 31. Throw her in jail!!!!!


    CYS is a joke… YES they call you first and say i have a complaint and will be there between this and that time !!. duh!!! why not just do the claening yourself~~ and also so many children in cys care to just be placed back home in a few weeks!! i pray fo rthsi little boy and the other cildren involved …. also FOR ALL CHILDREN IN CYS CARE!!!

    • Guest

      CYS knew she didn’t have money so they ignored the obvious problem. They’re downright negligent. The caseworkers should be criminalized.

  • LYNN

    Children always suffer. They are at the mercy of adults and sometimes adults have mental issues. I pray the kids will recover but many times the law puts them back into a bad situation. PRAY.

  • Ryan

    My dad is the land owner and first hand told me how filthy and disgusting the girl was letting the house get no sign of abuse he saw but they were warning her to clean up the house or to get out its sad a little baby and young children have to go through this praying for them

    • Mike

      Yes, it’s always someone else’s fault. Blame the system, not the trash that lays on their back spitting out babbies or the Lowlife so called men. And I use the word men lightly!

      • Guest

        CYS physically visited Ashley multiple times and ignored many complaints. CYS should be helping the kids get away from the scum,yes CYS is at fault here.

  • katey

    thats a shame that these children had to be subject to this kind of life. CYS is a joke..if someone calls about the welfare of a child most of the time they do come out but they call and tell the people they are coming..well duh….i’ll clean my house before they get here…why not go unexpected.

  • Lisa

    B.s. On that. I called cys on someone numerous times and nothing was ever done!!!!! I don’t believe that in the slightest. Prayers to the baby

  • Su Ivey Lammers

    Sadly, it happens often, from all walks of life, and all across the US. As a mother, it makes my blood run cold. Here’s the thing, you don’t need to be a parent to know right from wrong. There is absolutely no excuse for this disgusting behavior.

  • liz

    Exfriend, since you knew what was going didn’t you feel you should have done something for those children. Shame on you!!

  • Guest

    please dont bundle her family in with her. she is not an example of her family in any way shape or form. i can assure you if her family would of know what was going on then one of her brothers would of personally taken care of this guy.

      • Guest

        Really? She’s been there for months and her neighbor didn’t even know she had kids until two weeks ago. Obviously she kept those kids out of view.

    • Guest

      It’s not the first time she put her relationship over her kids well being. She’s had flavor of the month criminal boyfriends around before this.

      • Exfriend

        She’s too busy doing drugs, and spending her child support on whatever boyfriend she has at the moment while her kids run around a filthy house in dirty diapers and dirty clothes, I would know from first hand experience

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