GEORGETOWN, KENTUCKY: A 27-year-old woman was arrested Saturday after police found her three children living in deplorable conditions in a home infested with cockroaches and bed bugs, and without provisions for proper meals.
Sarah Herald was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor and three counts of second-degree criminal abuse after police responded to her Georgetown home following a tip-off from her neighbor.
The caller said that three “filthy” children, aged five, four and two, were left outside for an extended period of time unsupervised, Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
According to an arrest citation, the officers found three discarded mattresses with dirty stains, cockroaches and bedbugs at the scene. The mattresses also had dead bugs and fecal matter on them.
There was also a terrible odor coming from the house which one of the officers said he could smell from the front lawn.
Before the officers arrived at the house, the children were already inside the home.
After knocking at the door and asking to speak to the mother, the police noticed the three children playing in the living room “rolling around in copious amounts of trash, discarded food, and crawling cockroaches."
There were also cat feces on the floor of the living room. Bed bugs were found inside the children’s mattresses.
The children themselves were dirty, wearing filthy clothing, and no shoes. All of them had extremely dirty fingernails and toenails.
While walking around the house, the officers found thousands of cockroaches, both dead and alive, as well as other dead insects and insect feces. The house also had trash laying around and the refrigerator was filled with cockroaches, Fox 56 reported.
There was moldy and expired food inside the fridge, while piles of garbage with discarded pieces of food lay around the kitchen.
Herald told the police that she had tried bug spraying the house “but it’s not working obviously,” and because the food inside her fridge was not safe for her children to eat, they were living off pop-tarts.
“The entire condition of the home was indicative of neglect for an extended amount of time,” police said. “All three children lived in the residence and because of the risk of illness/injury caused by the diseases cockroaches are known to carry, the decaying insects/feces, deplorable living conditions and lack of food, it is my belief (Herald) placed the children in a situation that may cause them serious physical injury."
The children were placed with other family members after the police contacted the Child Protective Services and learned that Herald already had active allegations of child negligence against her.
She was placed in the Scott County Detention Center and was arraigned Tuesday afternoon.