Woman charged after 19 kids left home alone in hot, filthy house
According to police, the parents of a blended Kentucky family left the children by themselves for more than a week in a house that had no food and no air conditioning. Police also discovered nine dogs and a cat in the feces-strewn home.
reports Jackie Farah, the biological mother of some of the abandoned children, has been arrested. Around 4 p.m. yesterday, after Farah returned to Bowling Green from a trip to Chicago, she was asked to go to the Warren County Sheriff's Office. Once she arrived, she was questioned and then arrested.
Farah, 32, is facing 14 counts of first-degree child abuse (child 12 or under) and five counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. She is now being held in the Warren County Regional Jail.
The children range in age from eight months to 14 years old.
According to one neighbour, Farah and Irving "Joe" Smith had to leave town because of a family emergency and simply asked a neighbour to look in on the children.
The children were rescued from the home Monday evening after one of the family's neighbours called police. Annie Adams knew the children were on their own because Farah and Smith had left them alone before. Adams was quoted by WKYT
as saying, "I called a couple of weeks ago because I noticed that the parents hadn't been home. I did hear babies crying and I knew there were no adults."
When deputies entered the home Monday they found the house littered with dog feces and smelling of urine. The temperature inside was 90 degrees on a day when Bowling Green saw the temperature reach 101 degrees. There was no working air conditioner in the home. There was very little food in the house and the kids had been sleeping on the carpet.
The children didn't seem to mind being alone or act like anything was out of the ordinary. Detective Tim Robinson was quoted by MSNBC
as saying it was "not really a surprise to be hanging out there by themselves. While certain kids would be frantic—'I need my mom'—this wasn't happening."
Robinson added that some of the children used to go around the neighbourhood scrounging for food and he doesn't believe any of the neighbours knew exactly how many children lived in the home.
The children were all taken to hospital to be checked out and then put into state care. The 10 pets were turned over to animal services.
The Warren County Sheriff's Office is still looking for Smith.