Parents Who Abandoned Their Children In Filth Sentenced

| by Kathryn Schroeder

The Lake Stevens, Washington, parents who abandoned their children in a filthy home that did not have a working toilet have been sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation.

Amanda Foley, 32, and Mark Dorson, 33, were accused of leaving their three children, ages 7, 3, and 10 months, home alone in deplorable conditions. The initial charges against them were several gross misdemeanors and one count of second-degree criminal mistreatment, a felony, reports The Herald.

The felony charge was later dropped due to a possible lack of evidence and the couple pled guilty to three counts of third-degree abandonment of a dependent person, a gross misdemeanor.

The children were discovered on Jan. 31 by police officers. A woman who had gone to their home several times to speak with Dorson about unfinished mechanical work she had paid him to do but was always told by the 7-year-old that her parents were sleeping called in the tip.

When police arrived, the front door was padlocked. They were let into the home by the eldest child, and the smell of rotting food, feces, and urine, was reportedly so strong an officer had to go back outside to catch his breath.

The home was found to be littered with garbage, animal feces, and urine. It did not have a working toilet or heat, and there were exposed wires and no working smoke detectors.

The couple’s 10-month-old son was found locked in a bedroom upstairs wearing a soiled diaper and in poor health. According to a nurse, he was hypothermic, reports Komo News.

The house has since been deemed uninhabitable.

The children were taken to a hospital for treatment. Their parents did not contact police or Child Protective Services for days after they were removed from the home. The couple were arrested on Feb. 3 at a CPF office in Monroe.

Foley claims she left the children with a neighbor to go shopping and when she returned and saw the police she panicked and went to a friend’s house. She came back later and saw her children being taken away in an ambulance. 

According to the charging documents, Foley did not call the hospital to check on her children because she thought “everything was fine.”

Dorson told police the entire situation “got blown way out of proportion” and that he did not check on the children because he did not have a phone.

Dorson and Foley have served nearly all of their six-month jail sentence already. A custody case is currently ongoing and Foley is reportedly pregnant.

The children are all expected to make a full recovery.

Sources: The Herald, Komo News

Photo Source: Komo News