A Middletown, Connecticut mother has been arrested after police say they found five children living in squalor in her apartment.
According to a report by NBC, police were dispatched after fire marshals found trash blocking entry to a third-floor apartment. Fire fighters were on the scene after a cigarette thrown from the window of an apartment on that floor was responsible for catching an air conditioner on fire.
When 27-year-old Chloe Edwards answered the door for officers, police say they were “taken back” by the smell. Trash had been blocking the entrance, dirty dishes had been piled in the sink, and the carpet had been coated in cockroach carcasses, vomit, urine, and feces. Flies had begun to gather in the uncomfortably warm apartment that had been home to Edwards and her four children. Also found in the apartment was a fifth child who had been previously reported missing by their mother.
Police found an empty refrigerator with only a jar of sauce and two jars of baby food inside. During the investigation, police say some of the children had complained they were hungry and began to eat pieces of dog food they found on the floor.
Exposed wires and nails were also among the safety hazards within the home. The beds had been busted and stained, most of which had no pillows, sheets or blankets. The children were taken into protective custody.
The apartment Edwards and the children had been inhabiting has since been declared “unfit for occupancy” by the Middletown Health Department. Edwards is being held on a $10,000 bond for five counts of risk of injury to a minor.
Previously, court records state that Edwards had been charged in a 2016 incident for providing false statements to the police and for filing a false report. Edwards was arrested in April 2017 and released on a $1000 bond. She has pleaded not guilty to those charges and was not due back in court until November 2017.