Two small children will spend Christmas in the care of Child Protective Services. Evansville Police say the boys were found living in filth, with one sleeping near an active meth lab.
Police conducted a welfare check inside two apartments at 1214 Edgar Street, just after 1:00 a.m. Friday.
Downstairs, officers say they found one child with animal feces all over the floor. Officers say they found the other child upstairs along with an active meth lab.
There were four arrests. The boys' grandmother, 62-year-old Janetta Woodall is charged with child neglect. 23-year-old Cami Carter and 22-year-old Benjamin Anglin are charged with manufacturing meth.
And police say the boys' mother, 22-year-old Ciquel Courtney was arrested later when she went to check on the children at the hospital.
This is a time in our country when everyone is thinking about the safety of our children, and in this case, police say a good samaritan came to these children's aid by alerting police.
But those who know the suspects say police have it wrong, and the kids should be returned.
"There were 11 cats and one dog living in the home so there was feces all over the floor," EPD told 14 News. "The plumbing in the house apparently did not work so there was human waste in the toilet so it was almost completely full.
Two boys, ages three and four found inside a home police say is unlivable.
Two very different stories about the conditions inside.
"We took care of the kids," said a man who lived inside the home. "The kids got what they needed. We had food for them and everything else so what the police said is wrong."
A man who says he lives inside the home, but didn't want his face on camera, says he was home when police came early Friday morning.
A neighbor who also wanted his identity concealed, says he's friends with the suspects and that the kids shouldn't be taken away.
"I'm mad, man. Because they was in a good home, their momma loves them," the neighbor said.
Police say their investigation turned up mattresses on the floor with no bedding, a one-pot active meth lab upstairs and no running water.
"We didn't have running water but we got water from other people to help out and take care of the kids and stuff like that," said the man living in the home.
And just days before Christmas, police say this could be a blessing in disguise.
"Unfortunately, they're not going to be with their family for Christmas but fortunately, they're going to be in a safe, clean environment with people that will show them care this Christmas."
All four arrested, remain in the Vanderburgh County Jail.
Police say the mother refused a drug test, so the children will remain in the care of CPS.
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