PECULIAR, Mo. -- Children were found covered in bug bites had reportedly gone days without food. Now a Cass County woman faces charges and five children are in protective custody.
Tiffany Burton, 32, faces five counts of first degree endangering the welfare of a child.
FOX4's Nicole DiAntonio went inside the Peculiar, Mo. home, and spoke to Burton, who said this is the first time her children have been away for more than a day.
Burton brought FOX4 inside her home to show the changes she's made in the last several days.
Since leaving police custody, she has cleaned, painted, moved the animals outside. The family currently has four cats, two dogs, two horses, a pig, and chickens which were moved to the porch.
According to court records, a school resource officer had contacted the Cass County Sheriff on May 16th when two children had been out of school for a week, after they had been found with head lice.
When deputies arrived, the report shows they found red scratches and possible bug bites on the kids. A deputy found the home filled with trash and infested with fleas.
The report also mentioned the kids had allegedly not eaten in days.
We spoke with a neighbor who first heard about the news on FOX4.
"If everything you read is right, you don't think people are going to live like that. So that was kind of a shock," neighbor Bill Morris said. "Up til now, I was unaware that the kids had some issues. Like I said, they're always very friendly, very happy little kids."
Burton said her kids are all staying together, several hours away. Visitation permits her to talk to them on the phone for up to two hours a day.
Burton is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.