Parents charged after family found in deplorable conditions

December 31, 2019 GMT

HEMPFIELD, Pa. (AP) — Law enforcement officers serving a warrant at a western Pennsylvania home found a family living there in “uninhabitable conditions” and charged the parents with child endangerment and animal neglect, authorities said.

Cloyd and Melissa Zimmerman, both 38, turned themselves in Monday. Both were arraigned that day and released on bail, and it wasn’t known Tuesday if either one has retained an attorney.

Westmoreland County sheriff’s officers had gone to the couple’s Hempfield home Thursday to serve a criminal mischief warrant issued for Melissa Zimmerman. When she opened the door, the deputies were overwhelmed by the smell of urine and feces.

The couple’s four children, all younger than 6, were seen stepping in “puddles” of feces and urine throughout the inside of the house, and a black sludge covered the living room floor, authorities said. Their feet and legs also appeared smeared by the substances.

The children were removed from the home and turned over to child welfare officials. Animal control officers also took control of two dogs and cats that were in the home.