EDITOR’S NOTE: CBS4 has opted to withhold the defendant’s name in this case to protect the identity of the children.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A child’s text to her dad about being hungry resulted in a welfare check, uncovering living conditions that led to a call to child protective services and the woman’s arrest.
That was the text that was sent by a little girl to her father, according to a probable cause affidavit in the case against the children’s mother. On Saturday, officers with the Bloomington Police Department arrested the children’s mother on two counts of felony neglect of a dependent after finding what they called unsuitable living conditions.
When one of the children texted her dad to say she was hungry, he offered to bring them food. However, the document states the child told him that her mom would be angry. The document states that the child previously told her dad that her mom was “in her room drunk, pls don’t tell her.”
After dropping off the food, the dad’s new wife called the police to ask for a welfare check. When an officer arrived, the document said the children’s mother, who was passed out in one of the bedrooms when the officer arrived, opened the door to talk to them. The officer noted that one of the dogs managed to get outside and children’s mother tried to grab it but was nowhere close to doing so and appeared off balance.
When the officer asked to speak to her 9-year-old and 11-year-old, the document said they could see through the living room window into the house, seeing a large amount of dog feces in the living room and kitchen. That is when the officer decided to call CPS.
While talking with one of the kids, the document said the officer learned that the girl felt scared in the home and the children’s mother coached her on what to say to the police. The girl also told the officer that she had very little to eat, except some olives and some corn mix.
The document said the children’s mother let officers inside to look at the conditions of the home and they were met by an overpowering odor of feces and urine. The document said it was next to impossible to walk to the fridge without stepping in animal waste.
Inside the fridge, police say there were only condiments and beverages, with some jams and jellies. The cupboards had some dry goods, but very little that could be cooked into a meal.
Looking around the house, the document said most of the mattresses appeared to be covered in urine stains and excessive amounts of dog hair. The main bedroom had numerous alcohol containers and a pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana. There was trash and clothing strewn about the house.
Downstairs, police say the conditions were even worse. The document said the basement was entirely covered in dog feces. There was mold growing from the piles of excrement.
After the tour, the document states officers asked to talk to the children alone. However, the children’s mother insisted on standing by them, interjecting over the children as they were asked questions about their living conditions. Police say the children appeared nervous and hesitant to answer truthfully due to her presence.
The children went with CPS and police asked how long the house had been in this condition. The document states that one of the kids admitted it had been four months or longer.
The document said the children told police that the house used to be clean, but it had been in its current state since after Christmas.
The document states the children’s mother told police that she drank to help her sleep, but that she only had two shots of alcohol that night. However, a blood alcohol content test would later show she had a BAC of .244%, indicating she was drinking much more than that.
During the interview, the document said the children’s mother kept referring to events that happened the previous day. She seemed to be unable to recall most of the events of the day. Police say it was apparent that she had no idea if the children had food or not.
The document states the children’s mother admitted to officers that the children should not be living in such conditions, which is why she had been allowing them to stay with their father every other week.
The children’s mother was taken to the Monroe County Jail where she was released on bond pending an initial hearing set for Friday.