Seven children were rescued from a Missouri home where they were wearing urine-soaked clothes and had feces caked onto their feet, KMOV-TV reports.
Last month, neighbor Pat Abney reportedly encountered two of the children, an 8-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, after they had exited the residence in the November cold with bare feet and without jackets.
“Two kids crossing the street with no shoes or nothing on and they come over and tried to get in houses and cars and stuff,” Abney told the television station.
Abney said he had no clue seven children lived in the home, as they previously did not go outside.
Abney said the children told her they were lost and could not find their way back. Despite being 50 feet away from their house, they apparently did not recognize it, he said.
Then Abney noticed their feet were dirty.
“I thought it was mud and it wasn’t mud,” he told the news station. “It was human feces.”
Abney subsequently called the police department. Officers put the kids in their patrol vehicle and went to a home that Abney suggested.
No one entered the door, but police reportedly entered through an open door.
Inside, they discovered a broken toilet that was overflowing.
A child was sleeping in the living room, which allegedly had feces and grime all over, and all the kids had feces on their feet and wore urine-soaked clothing.
The children ranged in age from about 5 months to 10 years old.
The mother, 35-year-old Kristina Hillhouse, was reportedly sleeping in bed at the time police arrived, along with her was a 5-month-old.
Hillhouse reportedly told officers the children could not have gotten out because their door has a deadlock on it.
Police also found floors throughout the home covered with rotting food and feces. Dirty diapers and dried fecal stains were found in the home’s master bedroom.
Elsewhere, beds were covered with feces and urine.
The police report obtained by KMOV-TV describes the scene as a “horrible discovery.”
Prosecutors have charged Hillhouse and her husband, 39-year-old Robert Hillhouse, with endangering the welfare of a child.
Neighbors told the television station that Robert Hillhouse was the only individual they would ever see leave the home.
Police called child protective services upon seeing the conditions inside the house. The children were later evaluated at a hospital. It did not appear they were physically abused, but had been living in the horrible environment for years.
The suspects are reportedly being held on a $150,000 bond.