COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says it has concluded an animal cruelty investigation involving “Teen Mom 2” star Jenelle Evans and her husband without charges, even though investigators say she admitting making the story up for publicity.
According to a news release, on May 1 the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office and Columbus County Animal Control started a joint investigation into allegations of animal cruelty that reportedly occurred at a home on Money Hole Road in Riegelwood. Investigators say Evans contacted the sheriff’s office advising that on April 29, at approximately 6:30 pm, her dog bit her daughter, leaving a scratch on her face. Evans told investigators that her husband, David Eason, threw the dog outside. She then told them that after Eason realized that the dog scratched their child, he went outside and shot the dog. During this conversation, investigators say Evans stated that she did hear a gunshot, but did not witness the incident.
On May 1 a deputy visited Eason at the home. The sheriff’s office says the deputy was following up on a previous welfare check request on a child at the home. While at the home, the deputy also spoke with Eason about the animal cruelty allegations. The deputy witnessed a child at the home who appeared to be in good health.
A Columbus County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigator tried to make contact with Evans by visiting her at her home, the release says, but the investigator was unable to make contact with her in person. A message was left on her voicemail. Eason reached out to the investigator and advised that he and Evans were meeting with their attorney at the end of the week. The investigator attempted to contact Evans on the day they reportedly met with their attorney. However, again, she did not answer the phone.
The sheriff’s office says on the night of May 13, it executed a search warrant at the Eason home. The Columbus County Department of Social Services accompanied deputies to serve four custody orders. When they got there, no one was home. Investigators reach Eason, who said he would arrive shortly. When he got there, they say Eason willfully signed a consent to search form. Deputies searched the home and property. They found no weapons. Investigators processed the house and the property. They say they did not find blood evidence or any other physical evidence to validate that an animal had been fatally injured on the property. Evans was not there during the search.
On May 14, the release says, Evans and Eason were at the Columbus County Department of Social Services about their children. Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigators met with Evans about the allegations she reported. Eason was not present during this meeting. Investigators questioned Evans about the incident she reported. They say her accounts were inconsistent with her original account of the events that occurred on April 29. They say she told them she was inside with her children at the time of the alleged event and that she never heard or saw anything to indicate Eason shot her dog. Evans reportedly told investigators she did not want the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office or the District Attorney’s Office to continue with the investigation. They say she told them this was her decision that she made on her own free will and that she was not coerced into making this decision.
Investigators say Evans told them that she did not know where the dog was. She also reportedly told them, “I don’t know if she was shot or killed or not.”
Investigators say Evans told them the reason she filed the animal cruelty report was for the publicity and because she did not know where her dog was.
Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigators say they found no physical evidence to substantiate that the allegations against Eason are factual. The evidence collected indicates that the allegations of animal cruelty were fabricated. Therefore, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office is closing this investigation and not filing charges in this case.
A sheriff’s office spokeswoman says Evans will not face charges for filing a false report.
“The elements to charge for that were not met,” the spokeswoman said in an email to WWAY.
According to the release:
“Columbus County Sheriff’s Office has dedicated many hours investigating the reported allegations. Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, along with Columbus Central, the District Attorney’s Office, Columbus County Department of Social Services and Columbus County Animal Control were inundated with phone calls and emails concerning this investigation due to social media posts advising the public to contact the above agencies. The quantity of calls and emails that the Sheriff’s Office and the above agencies received were so abundant that individuals had to be removed from their normal duties to answer thousands of redundant calls. This slowed the progress of the investigation, and delayed normal daily operations. Social media can be a great tool when utilized for positive interactions. In this case, social media posts were utilized to incite follower’s emotions to gain publicity. Sheriff Jody Greene and Columbus County Sheriff’s Office were quoted in numerous social media posts. However, the ‘quoted’ statements were never made by Sheriff Greene or Columbus County Sheriff’s Office. We must remember that reality television and tabloid journalism are for entertainment purposes only.”
In a separate incident, the sheriff’s office says deputies were dispatched to the Eason home, where the family had received an envelope in the mail, hand addressed from the Brunswick County Clerk. When Eason began opening the envelope, a white powder substance fell out of the envelope. The substance was tested and did not test positive for narcotics or other harmful substances. This investigation has been closed. All leads in this case have been exhausted, investigators say.