A Kentucky mother was arrested after police say her three children were found inside a filthy home with nothing to eat besides Pop-Tarts.
Lexington Herald Reader reports that an officer was dispatched to a Georgetown home off of Military Street on Saturday after a neighbor called in about three children who were kept outside for long periods of time. When the officer arrived, he immediately noticed dirty mattresses outside filled with feces, urine, and dirt. The officer also noticed a strong smell coming from the house before he even stepped foot inside.
According to the arrest citation, when the officer walked inside the home, he saw three children “rolling in copious amounts of trash, dirt, discarded food and crawling cockroaches.” The children, ages 2, 4 and 5, were completely filthy, barefoot, and wearing dirty clothes.
The officer noted the kitchen had cockroaches all over the walls, large piles of trash and food on the floor, and moldy food inside the refrigerator. According to WDRB, the officer noted “thousands” of bugs in the home, both dead and alive.
“The children’s feet, arms and faces were black with filth, which were indicative of overall neglect of the children’s hygiene,” the officer wrote.
When the officer confronted the mother, 27-year-old Sarah Stern, she allegedly claimed the children were eating Pop-Tarts because the food inside the refrigerator was unsafe. She also said she had been “spraying” the kids to get rid of bugs, according to the police report.
“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 warrant read.
NBC 3 reports that the children, who were usually kept outside, were called inside the home before the police officer arrived at the scene, according to a witness.
The officer arrested Herald and charged her with criminal abuse and endangering the welfare of the child. Social services indicated that the woman had an open, active case with the agency.
The children were subsequently taken to their great-grandmother’s home and placed in her care.
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[Feature Photo: Sarah Herald/Police Handout]