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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 3, 2015 at 5:25 PM

3 Lake Stevens children abandoned by parents in filthy home

LAKE STEVENS — A man and a woman accused of abandoning their three young children without food in a cold, filthy house have been arrested, police said Tuesday.

It wasn’t known how long the children had been alone when police removed them Saturday, but the parents had to be tracked down, Lake Stevens police Cmdr. Dennis Taylor said Tuesday. The adults, both 33, were arrested in Monroe and booked for investigation of felony criminal mistreatment and abandonment of a dependent person.

The children include a girl, 7; a boy, 3; and an 11-month-old boy.

The children were taken to a hospital, where the baby was found to have a core temperature of 94 degrees and was treated for hypothermia and dehydration. All are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The parents were expected to make court appearances Wednesday, The (Everett) Herald reported.

A woman who had gone to the home because she was owed money alerted police, court documents said. Officers found so much human and animal waste inside that they wore respirators and plastic boots as they investigated.

While a space heater reportedly had been left on in one room, court documents say, holes had been knocked in exterior walls, with daylight showing through in some areas. “It was 40-something degrees in the house,” Taylor said.

Detectives served a search warrant Tuesday. The house was ordered unsafe for habitation, said Chad Osterholtz, the city-code inspector. The house had running water and power but also extensive water damage and mold. Smoke alarms were disabled, wires exposed and light fixtures uncovered.

Detective Dean Thomas said the family has a history of contact with Child Protective Services. The girl’s school recently called social workers after she missed a week of school, he said.

The school previously brought the agency concerns regarding her health and appearance, Taylor said.

The arrested man was sentenced to prison in 2002 after shooting and wounding a man, the Herald reported. The woman graduated from drug court in 2009 and later was convicted of stealing an SUV, the newspaper said.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: child abandonment, felony criminal mistreatment and abandonment of a dependent person., Lake Stevens Police Department

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