Children Found in Unsanitary Conditions, Suffering from Poor Health in Garbage-Littered Home
Pennsylvania– Shane Robertson, aged 47, and Crystal Robertson, aged 37, both parents from Pennsylvania, have been charged with seven felony counts of endangering the welfare of children.
This follows the discovery of their seven children living in conditions that were deemed filthy and unsafe.
Following reports of children rummaging through what was thought to be an abandoned trailer and taking items from it, Pennridge Regional Police were sent to a residence in West Rockhill Township on April 23.
This information was disclosed in a police affidavit filed on May 19. During the investigation, a 12-year-old girl informed the police that she was searching for a blanket for her pet rats. She further explained that her family had limited financial resources.
Upon the arrival of the parents, Shane and Crystal, the police noticed that one of the juvenile females, aged 14, was wearing oversized boots and dirty clothing.
Concerned for the well-being of the children, the officers contacted the parents and expressed their apprehensions. Subsequently, the police accompanied Shane and Crystal to their living quarters, where they discovered a refrigerator secured with a bicycle lock.
Crystal explained that due to excessive food consumption, she felt compelled to lock the fridge. She referred to her children as “garbage disposals with legs” and expressed frustration over them “stealing” everything.
After Shane retrieved the key from Crystal’s purse in the car, it was observed that the refrigerator contained very little food.
Police noted that the interior of the trailer exhibited signs of disrepair and disorder, as mentioned in the affidavit. When officers inquired, Shane mentioned having one additional daughter, who appeared unkempt according to the police.
Subsequently, the officers left to file a Childline Report as mandated by Pennsylvania Act 31. Upon their return, they discovered that more children had been concealed in a rear bedroom of the residence.
Shane admitted to providing false information about the number of children due to his fear of getting into trouble.
As a result of their condition and appearance, all seven children, whose ages range from 4 to 16, were taken to Grand View Hospital for assessment and evaluation.
The hospital assessment revealed that all seven children were malnourished, with two of them testing positive for COVID-19. Additionally, two children exhibited low kidney function, while three had fevers and were diagnosed with acute viral syndrome.
Following these findings, Bucks County Children and Youth Services took custody of all seven children. The parents were notified that their children would be placed in foster care.
Photographs were taken of the living quarters, which showed the parents’ bed surrounded by animal cages.
The sheets on the bed appeared unwashed for an extended period, and the living space was littered with garbage. The walls had holes, and feces were found on the floor and a blanket, according to the police affidavit.
During the investigation, it was revealed that two cages housed around two dozen rats, along with two dogs, two turtles, two rabbits, snakes, toads, and a 4-foot reptile.
The home lacked basic hygiene products such as soap and toothpaste, and had an unpleasant odor and insect infestation. Disturbingly, it was discovered that none of the seven children received any formal education.
Further assessments uncovered additional health issues among the children, including social anxiety, dental problems, eyesight issues, and one child had maggots in her hair.
Both parents were released on Friday after posting bail, which amounted to 10% of $100,000.