Warren toddlers found living among trash, needles, insects
A caseworker told police that a trash and drug-filled apartment is the worst place she has ever been in during her 25 years with children’s services.
Police say, two children, ages 1 and 3, were found living at the Stonegate Apartments early Wednesday among trash bags, half-eaten food, and insects.
A witness contacted police saying they scooped up 11 bags of trash from the apartment on March 4, only to return this past weekend to find garbage throughout the place again.
After getting no answer at the front door, an officer entered through the back door where they found the two children and three adults.
"Before I even got to the rear of the door, I could smell a terrible stench of sewer and feces,” one officer stated in the police report.
Once inside, the officer saw bags of trash and half-eaten pizza scattered in the room.
"I stepped into the living room and was overwhelmed with the terrible smell. As I tried to enter the residence there was a swarm of gnats everywhere you walked,” reported the officer who also said there were half-filled trash bags in the hall, trash on the kitchen floor, and hundreds of gnats on the cupboards.
"You literally had to cover your nose and mouth to avoid eating any of the gnats that were flying around,” according to the report.
Trash was falling out a bag. In the hallway, police say garbage was piled four feet high, including a shattered mirror and other sharp objects. The officer couldn’t see the sink because of the trash piled on top of it.
"there was trash piled up from the toilet to bathtub that was about 3 feet tall,” police reported, adding it was not possible to wash your hands or take a shower.
In a bedroom, police found syringes on the floor and empty drug containers. Trash was piled up next to a bed, along with a loaded syringe and a suspected bag of meth.
In front of a child's bed was a bindle of suspected heroin.
The 3-year-old girl said they hadn’t eaten since having cookies and candy for breakfast. She told the police that they usually eat candy.
When an EMT bought the children Happy Meals from McDonald's, he said the little girl began eating ketchup from the package. As the girl ate chicken nuggets without stopping, the EMT says she had a big smile on her face.
Two of the adults were booked into the county jail and the children were taken by Trumbull County Children’s Services.
Tommy Lee Couch and Angelica Burns, both 25, are charged with child endangering, as well as possession of drug abuse instruments and drug paraphernalia.
Both pleaded not guilty during a video arraignment on Wednesday. As part of their bail, neither are to have contact with the children.
Their next court hearings are scheduled for April 20.