LEXINGTON, Mo. -- Authorities from the Lafayette County Health Department say they have never seen a roach infestation as mammoth and repulsive as the one inside an apartment where they found three young children home alone, filthy and hungry.
Prosecutors have charged their mother, Christeena M. Adair, 24, with endangering the welfare of a child and animal abuse after the children and a pet dog were found locked inside an apartment swarming with insects.
A Lafayette County Health Dept. inspector went inside the home on Tuesday. FOX 4's Melissa Stern waited in the hallway, and when he came out of the apartment, he described the conditions where the children had been living. Two of the children were three years old and one was five years old.
"It was just disgusting," said Tom Emerson, who has worked for the health department for 22 years. "There was generations and generations of different sizes of roaches living in there. The floors are covered with, soaked in animal feces and urine. There are roaches on all the floors, all the walls, flies all over the place. And then you go into the bedroom and you see these filthy mattresses full of roaches. What little food is in the pantry is covered with roaches."
According to the probable cause, the children were dirty and one was naked when they were found. Bags of trash littered the floor and no food was found in the refrigerator.
The responding officers located the children's mother in the next apartment over with her boyfriend. He spoke to FOX 4 and defended Christeena Adair against accusations that she neglected her children.
"If they need anything, her five-year-old knows to yell for her mom. She's a very bright kid," said Christopher, Christeena's boyfriend. "She had just got her paycheck and she was about to get food that day or the next day."
But an officer with the Department of Children’s Division, a police officer and now the health inspector agree the apartment was filthy and unlivable.
"There wasn't even anything for them to play with in there," Emerson said.
Neighbors at the apartment building are now complaining that the roaches have spread beyond Adair's apartment.
The apartment manager told FOX 4 that Adair has until Friday to move things out of the apartment. He believes once she's gone, the rest of the building's infestation issues will lessen.