Child removed from home, filth like ‘something out of a movie’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 25, 2015) -- Officers arrested two parents after they found their home full of filth, with a young child living inside. The house, on Liberty Street in Muncie, was declared "unfit for human habitation" by the Delaware County Health Department.

"I had never dreamed it was like that," neighbor Dianna Case said.

Case told FOX59 she had not idea what she was living next door to, saying her only sign of trouble was the father yelling at his kids outside.

"That’s one of the first things I noticed was the atrocious way he spoke to those children and it was just heartbreaking to have to hear that," Case said.

It was an anonymous caller to 911 who told police Monday that a young child was outside without a coat on in 30 degree weather.

Officers who arrived on scene described a house of filth. In a probable cause affidavit, one officer said it was "like something out of a movie."

They described animal feces covering the floors, furniture covered with trash and no running water.

"The feces was so old it was sticking to the floor like gum ... (and) I've never seen a bathroom (so) disgusting," an officer said.

They arrested Nathan Charlton, 35, and Misty Charlton, 31, on counts of neglect of a dependent, possession of methamphetamine, abandon/neglect of a vertebrate animal and possession of paraphernalia.

"I could not see any part of the floor. It was covered in dog and cat feces and urine. There were cockroaches everywhere, trash (and) food," Muncie Animal Shelter employee Ashley Honeycutt.

Honeycutt helped remove two dogs from the home Monday night. She said the conditions were some of the worst she's seen, too.

"Very, very gross. It was hard to walk through and breathe in the smell," Honeycutt said.

The dogs were found covered in fleas and hot sauce. They're now bathed, shaved and in the care of Honeycutt and others for potential adoption.

"(They were) absolutely horrible conditions that I don’t think anyone can imagine themselves having to live in," deputy prosecutor Zach Craig said.

Craig filed charges against the Charltons on Wednesday, saying it's unclear how long the two-year-old was living in those conditions. Officers indicated that he was covered in dirt when they arrived.

The couple also have a 13-year-old son who was in the care of relatives when officers arrived. Both children will remain with relatives, as their parents are behind bars on $15,000 bond.

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