They Complained About The Trailer In The Backyard, and Discovered A Sick Sex Den….
Once a quaint and peaceful neighborhood, Putnam Street in Waynesville, North Carolina was filled with curious chatter as new neighbor Barbara Dionne Gray parked a trailer behind her home. To their surprise, strange men and women would come and go from the trailer at all hours of the day. Though, when the police were called to investigate, they discovered something they weren't prepared for.
The community had initially welcomed Barbara and her two small children, assuming she was simply searching for a comfortable and safe place to raise her family. The situation became suspicious, however, when Barbara hooked up a travel trailer in her backyard.
Neighbors began to notice random people driving up to the woman's home and heading to the trailer parked in the back. They suspected that their new neighbor was selling illegal drugs and made complaints to the local police. But what they later uncovered was far more disturbing than they had originally suspected.
The investigation revealed that 42-year-old Barbara was running her own private prostitution ring out of her backyard, just feet away from her young children. Investigators found that Gray would invite customers into her trailer, offering her services while her children were unattended in the house.
Initially, the officers had prepared for a drug bust, believing that Gray was dealing with illegal substances out of the trailer. However, the situation took a turn when they discovered that she was selling sexual favors instead.
Neighbors were shocked to learn that the mother next door was running a prostitution ring from her backyard, but they admit that they knew something illegal was happening. They were grateful that the police were able to catch Gray before anything terrible happened to the children in the area.
Rachel Coulston, a neighbor, said:
"And I got a bunch of little grandkids, you know, that come over here all the time, visit me. Yeah, it's an awful thing. It's an awful thing." Roy Shumpert added, "Usually, they just laid low. The only thing I ever really heard over there is the little boy playing drums a lot."
Coulston explained that she found it odd for a mother with two young children to hook up a trailer in their backyard. Her suspicions grew when she began witnessing people going in and out of the trailer at strange hours. "Men and women," she says. "Sometimes after 11:30-12 o'clock when I get home."
Gray was arrested and charged with felony solicitation for prostitution as well as using her private residence for the purpose of prostitution. She was taken to Haywood County Detention Center but posted a $5,000 bond while awaiting her hearing.
Fortunately, the Department of Social Services was alerted by the police about the children under Gray's care. Though it is unclear if she is related to the young boy and girl, she is believed to be their mother.
While nosy neighbors are often criticized for disturbing the peace, in this case, their watchful eye was critical. Because of their attentiveness, their neighborhood and children are safer. Who knows what might have happened if not for the neighbors' involvement.