Two Middletown women were sentenced to jail time this weekfollowing the emergency removal of three children due to filthy living conditions of the house in which they were living.
Sara Taylor, 33, and her mother, Barbara Taylor, 60, each pleaded guilty to two charges of child endangerment, a first-degree misdemeanor. They both were sentenced to six months in jail on each charge, a $150 fine and one year of probation. Both were credited with serving eight days in jail and had 172 days of their jail terms suspended by the court.
Both women had faced similar charges in 2012, according to Middletown Municipal Court records.
Middletown police were sent to 605 Charles St. on the late morning of Sept. 14 for a well-being check of children after a neighbor reported the house was unlivable. Earlier in the day, children were running around naked outside, according to the incident report.
As police approached the front door, roaches were found on the sidewalk, in the grass and on the front steps leading to the front door. The officer found the enclosed porch in disarray with trash, toys and other items piled without a clear path to the front door. There was also a foul odor.
Police went to the back door and found more trash, bugs, roaches, filth and dirt on the back porch. Sara Taylor came from around the front of the house and told the officer she lived there. He said Taylor was visibly dirty, with a very unclean and foul smell coming off of her.
After telling her he was there to check the well-being of the children, “she immediately put her head down and stated, ‘You’re gonna take my kids away,’” according to the report.
When asked why she felt that way, she told police, “the house is really dirty.” She said there were three children inside ages 8, 5 and 3.
Inside, police found trash, dirt, mice, roaches, bed bugs, and fleas, which were all visible throughout the living room and kitchen as they entered the house.
In the middle of filth was a mattress on the floor that was dirty, smelly and blackened from uncleanliness. Police found the three children, and her mother, Barbara Taylor, all lying on the mattress. The officer also reported seeing a mouse run across the mattress as they were sitting there. Barbara Taylor told police said she lived with her daughter and helps take care of the children.
Officers also found the inside of the refrigerator had mice, spoiled food and very foul odor; the toilets and tubs were blackened with filth; and no other piece of furniture was in the house other than the mattress they were sleeping on.
Police immediately told both women there would be an emergency child removal. Butler County Children Services was contacted and took all three children to a foster home. As of Friday, police said the children remained in foster care.
Both women were arrested on three counts of endangering children and taken into custody.
Sara Taylor’s brother responded to the scene and wanted to take custody of the children. However, police decided he was not suitable as he told officer he did not have food in his house and only had an air mattress for all the children to sleep on.