INDIANAPOLIS — Police arrested the parents of two children after reportedly finding them in a home in “complete disarray” and reeking of “feces and rotten garbage” during a probation check on the east side of Indianapolis.
Joseph Iverson, 34, and Marie Benjamin, 26, were arrested on March 22 at an apartment on E. 32nd Street.
Court documents state Iverson admitted to police that there were two firearms in the home. Police later located one handgun beneath the bed in one bedroom and another in the same room’s closet. As part of his probation, Iverson is prohibited from being in possession of a gun.
Police quickly grew concerned with another matter however — the state of the apartment.
According to court documents, police said the smell of feces and garbage was “overwhelming.” Officers spotted what appeared to be feces on the floor and couch cushions, as well as a garbage bag in the kitchen sink that had several inches of “brownish liquid that
smelled of rotten food.”
When police opened the refrigerator, they reportedly found cockroaches crawling inside and a lack of food fit for human consumption.
Around 20 to 30 filled garbage bags were scattered around the apartment and a bucket with what appeared to be human waste was beside the toilet, charging documents allege.
Two juvenile males also lived in the home, and one officer reportedly saw one of the boys lying on a feces-stained mattress. The officer said the boy was in a room that had feces, trash and rotten food all over the floor.
Iverson told officers the apartment had been condemned, and the family was waiting to be relocated after reaching out to apartment management for months.
When asked why there was such an excessive amount of trash, court documents show Iverson said he had been shot in the foot and had trouble walking to the dumpster. Benjamin told police she was getting ready to take the trash out when police knocked on the door.
The two children were relinquished to the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Police also found three dogs and a cat in the apartment. Animal control took them into their custody. Officers said a second cat was found after animal control left, and Benjamin requested to let the cat go outside, saying the animal would be “fine.”
According to court documents, Iverson was on probation for a felon carrying a handgun conviction.
Iverson and Benjamin were arrested and preliminarily charged with neglect of a dependent.