Five children have been found living in a filthy home brimming with trash, dog feces and urine-soaked beds, police in Florida have said.
One of the children begged to be given a new family and opened his mouth to reveal a set of rotten teeth when investigators went inside the home in Orlando, according to a police report.
Their mother, Yolander Lasane, 45, has been charged with child neglect after her children, aged 5, 9, 12, 15 and 17, are believed to have been living in the sickening conditions for several years.
Photographs show clothing and trash strewn about the house, black mold and rotting wood in the kitchen and an insect-filled bathroom with a broken toilet, sink and bathtub.
Animal feces was also found over floors and walls, according to the police report.
Police were called to the home by a Department of Children and Family worker, who told officers that she was concerned Lasane’s 17-year-old child had not been home in three weeks.
The teenager had never been reported missing and Lasane told authorities that she was troublesome and had been ‘sleeping around’, and did not think she had to report her missing.
The girl told police that her mother had thrown her out and told her never to return, so she had been staying with a friend. When she returned to pick up clothes, she said she found them thrown away.
When they checked on the house, investigators had to use a shovel to remove the trash so they could get inside and were immediately hit by an overwhelming smell, according to the police report.
Officers noted that the children did not look as if they had bathed recently and ate cold food out of cans using an electric can opener – the only working device in the kitchen.
The children’s beds were crawling with bugs, according to the report, and while Lasane’s bedroom was also littered with trash and feces, it was in far better condition than her children’s.
She had a working air conditioner and TV in her room.
The mother said she has trouble walking due to her weight and stays in bed most of the time, meaning she leaves the children to ‘come and go as they please’.
But the Orlando Sentinel noted that she walked to the patrol car after her arrest.
Officers also found that the doorknob on the front door of the house was hanging off and the home could not be locked.
‘The severe medical and overall neglect was horrendous,’ the report said. ‘It was evident that no part of this residence had been properly cleaned or maintained in years.’
Animal control also removed pets that had been neglected, the report said.
The house has now been condemned.
Neighbors said they would sometimes see one of her children wandering around the streets looking to work for money, according to WESH.
The Department of Children and Families has been working with the family for about a month, but said that they couldn’t remove the children from the home without giving the mother a chance.
‘The last thing we want to do is have to remove children from their home. We want to maintain them in the home when we can safely do that,’ DCF’s Kristi Gray told WFTV.
Lasane is being held at the Orange County Jail on five counts of child neglect causing great bodily harm. She has a sixth child who is grown and did not live at the house.
A relative has temporarily taken in some of the children, and the state is arranging other permanent care for them.
Below are pictures of the house that the children was found in