A Scott County mother was arrested last weekend after a police officer found her children living in a cockroach-infested home.
The Georgetown police officer was dispatched to the Military Street home Saturday when a neighbor said three young juveniles were “filthy” and outside for an extended period of time unsupervised, according to an arrest citation.
The officer first noticed three mattresses outside the home with dirty stains, crawling cockroaches and dead and alive bedbugs with feces, the arrest citation states. A foul odor was also smelled from inside the residence while the officer was outside, according to court records.
Three children, ages 2, 4 and 5, were playing in the living room of the home “and were rolling in copious amounts of trash, dirt, discarded food and crawling cockroaches,” the arrest citation states. The children were described by police as being extremely dirty, wearing filthy clothing, barefoot and all had extremely dirty fingernails and toenails.
The officer noticed trash, filth, crawling cockroaches, dead insects and insect feces while walking around the house, the arrest citation states. There were thousands of cockroaches, both alive and dead, the officer stated. Bedbugs were also found on the children’s mattresses, according to police.
The infestation was also in the kitchen, where police found a large pile of garbage with discarded pieces of food and cockroaches crawling all over it, court documents show. Moldy and expired food was also discovered by police inside the refrigerator.
Sarah Herald, the mother of the children, said she had been spraying for bugs, “but it’s not working obviously,” police stated. Because the food in the refrigerator was not safe for the children to eat, Herald told police her children were eating Pop-Tarts for meals.
“The entire condition of the home was indicative of neglect for an extended amount of time,” police said. “All 3 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 arrest citation states.
Child Protective Services were called and the officer then learned Herald had an active case with them regarding the same allegations, according to police.
Herald, 27, was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor and three counts of second-degree criminal abuse. She was placed in the Scott County Detention Center and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.
The children were placed with their father’s grandmother, the arrest citation states.