McCOMB — A Mississippi couple were arrested after police say they discovered them living in an overdue rental truck with their two children and the children’s grandmother.
The cargo truck was nearly two months overdue and the rental company had reported it stolen, said Detective Shannon Sullivan.
He told the Enterprise-Journal 28-year-old Darnell Varnado and 29-year-old Shantay Varnado were arrested on one count each of possessing stolen property. They remained in the Pike County jail Thursday. Shantay Varnado’s bond was set at $10,000 and Darnell Varnado was held without bond. It was not clear whether they had an attorney.
The state Department of Human Services found a temporary residence for their two children and the children’s grandmother after the Varnados were arrested Monday.
Another family including four adults and a newborn baby were also living in the truck until June, when they found housing in nearby Monticello, police said.
All 10 of the alleged truck dwellers had traveled from McComb to New Jersey in late May to live with relatives, but returned after the arrangement fell through, Sullivan said.
Police and DHS workers learned in early June that they were living in the cargo compartment of the truck, which was in a shopping center parking lot. The U-Haul reportedly had been scheduled for return May 29.
Social workers put both families up temporarily in a hotel and directed them to housing authorities in Monticello, 38 miles from McComb.
Sullivan said he did not know why one family found housing and the other did not. The Varnados returned to McComb, drove the U-Haul to a residential street and moved back in, he said.
“We’re getting with DHS again to see what we can do for the family,” Sullivan said. “We need to make sure the kids and the family are taken care of.”