Police: Children left alone in feces-filled home
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 5:19 pm | Updated: 5:23 pm, Wed Apr 27, 2011.
Laurie Mason Schroeder
In what prosecutors are calling one of the worst cases of neglect they've seen, a Bristol mother has been charged with leaving her three young children alone in a feces-filled home.
Chelsea Champey, 21, of Spruce St., is charged with felony child endangerment and related counts. She was arrested on Monday after police went to her home to investigate an unrelated complaint and found three children, ages four, two and one in the house with no adult supervision.
"This is about as offensive as a child neglect and endangerment case gets," said deputy district attorney Blake Jackman. "This was pure neglect."
According to a police report, an officer knocked on the door around 10 a.m. and got no response. He saw the 4 year old looking out a window and gestured to him to open the door.
Once inside, the officer saw that there was an open bottle of liquor on the table, as well as the remains of a marijuana cigarette in an ashtray. Under the table was "feces that that did not appear to look like that of a domestic pet, but appeared to be human."
In the kitchen, the officer found food scattered on the floor and bags filled with rotted food stacked against the refrigerator.
"Much of the food in the home was found to be beyond its expiration date, including toddler food," the report states.
Upstairs, police found rooms filled with dirty laundry and more feces. On a nightstand there were a box of opened razor blades. There was no running water in the home and the tub was encrusted with a pinkish substance that had solidified.
"The tub appeared to have not been used in days or weeks," the report said.
A one year old girl was found inside a feces-smeared crib. More feces was on the carpet. Officers then noticed a hallway door that was dead-bolted. From the report:
"Upon unbolting and the opening the door, a strong odor of human feces could be smelled. (An officer) took notice of scape marks on the interior surface of the door. Beyond the door there is a stairwell leading to the third floor..."
The officer found a two year old girl on the third floor. She was naked and covered head to toe in feces, the report said, as was every piece of furniture in the room.
"The scrape marks on the inside of the door were inspected further and were within the reach of (the girl's) height and are suspected to have been from (the girl) clawing at the door to get out."
The children were taken downstairs and seated on a couch while police waited for social workers to arrive. One little girl pulled a cookie from between the couch cushions and began to eat it.
Boro building inspectors were called and declared the home unfit for human occupancy. There was only one smoke detector in the home, on the third floor, and it was chirping because the battery was dead.
Champey arrived home several hours later. Police say she claimed that she'd left the children with a babysitter.
She admitted that she locked the two year old upstairs, police said, telling an officer "if (the girl) was allowed downstairs, she would have the main floor in the same condition as the third floor."
Champey was sent to the county prison after failing to post ten percent of $75,000 bail. She did not have a lawyer as of this afternoon.
The children were placed in the custody of Bucks County Children and Youth.
Jackman said that even if Champey did leave the children with a babysitter, the conditions of the home show that they had been neglected for some time.
"From the state of the home, it would be clear to anyone that this didn't happen overnight," he said.