Howland police say four children found living in 'deplorable' ho - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Howland police say four children found living in 'deplorable' home

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HOWLAND TWP., Ohio -

Howland police found a three-year-old boy wandering near a road by himself Tuesday.

When they found out where he lived, authorities contacted the county health department and children services.

Howland Police Chief Paul Monroe says the inside of the home was the worst he's seen in his career. He says it all started when patrolmen found a young boy wandering the near road in just his diaper.

The three-year-old boy was one of four children living inside a Howland Springs Road Southeast home. The others were five, 10 and 13.

Police say they found the door open and the mother asleep on the couch.

Upon searching the home they found it to be in deplorable conditions.  

Clothes were piled up in every room, rotten food was all over the kitchen and feces was said to be everywhere.

"We found nowhere for these children to sleep other than the floor because there was animal fecal matter, from cats or dogs, on all of the beds," Monroe said.

Loretta Price, 42, is charged with one count of child endangering. Her four children are now staying with her ex-husband.

21 News asked her how her son could be allowed to roam outside alone. 

"He fell asleep before I did, and I laid down to take a nap with him. My door was dead bolted and locked at the bottom. Both locks were locked. He woke up before me, not knowing, and he undid both locks to get out. This has never happened before, and it will never happen again,"  Price said.

And her explanation to the condition of her home, “I've been ill. Things got behind," she said.

She says it's now being cleaned, and it won't get bad again. The police chief says he hopes people in the community will speak up if they see children who could be in danger.

"If anybody in the community or anywhere in the county sees something that doesn't look right, please call. Our biggest goal is for children to grow up and be safe and secure," Monroe said.

Price will be in court on Friday to answer to the charge.

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