A postal worker reportedly found two young girls alone and in squalid conditions while on her mail route.
Judy Arnold Alexander was delivering mail in Ash Flat, Arkansas, on May 13 when she found the girls in the middle of the road. The older girl, who is 4, was wearing an old nightgown while the younger one, who is 2, was naked and covered in feces, KAIT reports.
After guiding the children out of the road, Alexander said she began looking around for their guardian and found their mother passed out in a chair. She immediately called the police.
Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts responded to the call, along with several deputies.
"The postal worker stopped when she saw two small children playing in the road, and I am glad she did come along," Counts said.
He confirmed the children were in poor condition.
"The girls appeared not to have had a bath in several days and appeared to be covered in what looked like feces. We used some baby wipes to clean the up before [Department of Human Services] could get there," he said.
Counts called DHS after waking up the girls' mother.
When confronted by the police, Heather Shelton, 29, said she also had a baby in the house. The conditions inside the house were equally troubling.
"The little baby boy's crib had a used diaper in there that appeared to be there for a while, maybe up to a week. It was just a bad situation," Counts said.
DHS obtained a warrant to search the house, uncovering two bags of marijuana, two pipes and eight open bottles of nail polish, according to KAIT.
"When DHS showed up, the kids didn’t want anything to do with [their mother]," Counts said. "I think they have been having to fend for themselves for a while. I know when they took the kids off, the mom didn’t show much emotion at all."
Shelton is being held at the Sharp County Jail on three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, one count of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of an instrument to commit a crime.