Police conducting a welfare check Tuesday in Alberta, Alabama, came across two children living in an infested home, prompting the arrest of both parents.
An officer called on an elderly man to check on him and discovered his 8-year-old granddaughter helping care for him.
“The deputy thought the eight-year-old was a little young to be taking care of a grandfather on her own and inquired as to where her parents were,” said Captain Steve Arthur, according to Fox 10.
The girl showed the deputy to her parents’ home next door. The deputy described the trailer as looking abandoned due to weeds and grass growing around it.
Upon being allowed in to the residence by the child’s mother, the deputy discovered a home covered in animal feces, cockroaches and rotting food. Rats were also present, WKRG reported.
Arthur stated that the condition of the residence was so bad that it may be declared a public health hazard, Fox 10 reported. However, no course of action has been decided upon so far.
The officer found an 11-year-old boy living there. Both he and the 8-year-old girl were taken in to the custody of child protection services.
The parents, Stephanie and Joseph Spicer, were arrested on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment. As of Tuesday evening, they were being held on bail of $2,000 each, according to Fox 10.
The conditions of the home shocked local residents.
“Absolutely heart wrenching, you know, to know that innocent children are having to live in that type of situation,” Nickie Jonca told Fox 10.
Jonca wasn’t particularly close to the family, but regretted that they had not turned to neighbors for help.
“You wonder how long it’s been going on and where the other family members are, you know, in that child’s life," she added "Cause I do know that [there] are aunts, uncles. Where are they?”
Here are photos from inside the couple's house, via WKRG: