Seven children have been removed from a home in Pennsylvania and their parents arrested after police allegedly discovered them malnourished and living in a house in deplorable condition.
Pennridge Regional Police Department officers responded to the 600 block of Roseann Lane on the afternoon of April 23 to a report of two minors entering an abandoned trailer, according to a police report filed May 19. Police found two girls, 12 and 14, who appeared neglected and lived in a trailer next door.
Out of concern for the girls, officers asked their parents, Shawn and Crystal Robertson, to see their living conditions.
The house was “in a state of obvious disrepair and disorder”, the report said. There was also a bike lock on the fridge at home which Crystal said was due to them having little food and calling the kids “legged trash cans”.
Police also found another child, a 16-year-old girl, at the residence. Bucks County Children and Youth responded to the home to investigate.
After further investigation, four other children were found hiding in a back room — girls aged 4, 8 and 10 and a 6-year-old boy. don’t want to get in trouble,” according to the report.
Investigators found unsanitary living conditions at the home, including a bad smell, several insects, two dozen rats in cages, and droppings on the floor and on a blanket. Many parts of the house looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in a long time, and the bathroom, kitchen, floors and walls needed fixing.
Also found at the home were “two dogs, two turtles, two rabbits, snakes, toads and a four-foot reptile known as a Tegu,” the report said.
The Robertsons were arrested and charged with seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child. All seven children were sent to hospital for examination and placed in foster care.
All but one child were found to be clinically malnourished, two children tested positive for Covid-19, two had low kidney function and three had a fever and were diagnosed with acute viral syndrome, according to the report.
Two of the children required intensive dental care, two required corrective eye care and two had to shave off most of their hair due to severe mats.
The children were also found to have had no formal education and struggled to read, write and spell, according to the report.
“They all exhibited social anxiety and disclosed that they disliked being in public or around other people,” the report said.
Shawn and Crystal Robertson have both posted 10% of a $10,000 bond, police say. It is unclear at this time if they have legal representation.