OLYPHANT, Pa. -- A mother in Lackawanna County is facing felony charges, accused of letting her children live in a house of filth.
Damelvis Crespo, 30, of Olyphant was charged with child endangerment after being arrested Monday.
The Olyphant police chief says he was called to Crespo's home at Walsh Plaza on Monday when workers with Aaron's Rental Center said Crespo was refusing to return a rented television.
Neighbors heard her arguing with those workers.
“She said what the?” said one neighbor who didn’t want to use her name. “And then that's all I heard when the cops came up because Aaron's called the cops because she refused to give back the property.”
“So, I just asked my property manager, he's like well, it started with her owing money to Aaron's and then the cops took her kids,” said Stacey Yanchulis. “I'm like I don't know how that equals, I don't know how you get there.”
Inside Crespo's home, the chief says he found her children: an 11-year-old girl and three boys, ages 7, 5, and 4, living deplorable conditions.
Court papers show there was food, dirt, broken glass, bodily fluids, and garbage all over the furniture and floors, which were sticky.
The kitchen was covered with dirty dishes and rotting food, and the refrigerator was broken.
Two open bleach bottles were within the children's reach.
“I heard there was an open bleach bottle on the table, and the floors were deplorable, a lot of garbage all over,” said a neighbor.
The chief says after Crespo was arrested, her children were brought here to the police station to wait for the county's Youth and Family Services. They have since been placed with their fathers.
“Oh good, that's good, that's good that big girl, she takes care of all the little ones, really she's never allowed outside to play or anything because she takes care of the little siblings,” said Yanchulis.
Damelvis Crespo is out on $15,000 bail.
She is scheduled to be in court next Monday.