A Georgetown woman has been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a minor and second degree criminal abuse of child under 12 after Georgetown Police were called to the home the police citation stated was filthy and cockroach-infested.

Sarah Nicole Herald was arrested after Officer Smith was called to 610 Military St. Saturday evening when a neighbor reported three children had been outside for an extended period of time unsupervised, according to the police citation. The children were ages 5, 4, and 2, and the caller described the children as being “filthy” and the 5 and 2 year old had been “outside all day with no supervision.” Dispatchers advised officers had been to this address several times for the same complaint.

When Smith arrived, he found three mattresses discarded in the front yard that had dirty stains, crawling cockroaches and bedbugs, as well as dead bugs and bug feces all over them. Smith wrote in his citation that he detected a musty/foul oder from the residence while standing in the front yard.

Upon entering the home, Smith observed the three children playing in the living room and rolling around in “copious amounts of trash, dirt, discarded food and crawling cockroaches,” the citation stated. He also suspected cat feces on the floor. The children were extremely dirty, wearing filthy clothing, barefoot, had dirty fingernails and toenails and their feet, arms and faces were black with filth “indicative of overall neglect of the children’s hygiene by” Herald.

He continued going through the home, finding large amounts of trash, filth, crawling adult and baby cockroaches as well as dead insects and insect feces. In the citation, Smith said there were thousands of cockroaches dead and alive throughout the house.

The children’s bedroom had mattresses with bedbugs, dirty sheets and a foul odor; the kitchen had discarded food with cockroaches crawling over it and the refrigerator had several  dead cockroaches and insects as well as inside food containers.

The citation stated that Herald said she had “been spraying for bugs but it’s not working obviously.” She said the bugs in the refrigerator was because she had sprayed Ortho Bug Killer on them in the fridge and near food. She had been feeding the children Pop Tarts because the food was not safe to consume. The citation said Herald told officers she had been trying to clean the house, but Smith said she wasn’t cleaning when he arrived but was in her bedroom

Child Protective Services were contacted and they had an active case against Herald with the same allegations, the citation states. The children were placed with the children’s father’s grandmother, and Herald was arrested and lodged at Scott County Detention Center.

Steven McClain can be reached at smcclain@news-graphic.com.

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