LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - Officers found three children — ages 7, 3, and 11 months — abandoned and living in deplorable conditions, Lake Stevens Police Department said.
The officers were called to 9700 block of 11th Place SE on Saturday when someone trying to collect a debt had noticed on several visits that only the children were home. When police arrived, they spoke with a 7-year-old girl who was padlocked inside the house.
According to a news release, the children were surrounded by animal feces and garbage without heat or food. It is unknown how long the children were left unattended, but the parents did not show up at the residence.
One of the children had a core temperature of 94 degrees and was treated for hypothermia and dehydration.
Investigators found the parents, both 33 and from Lake Stevens, in Monroe and booked in the Snohomish County Jail for felony criminal mistreatment and abandonment of a dependent person.
Neighbors identified the parents as Mark Dorson and Amanda Foley.
All three children are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Police said there is a history of CPS calls and code enforcement issues at this address.
KIRO 7 also learned school staff where one of the children attends had called CPS as well, noting the child missed a lot of school and usually came hungry and unkempt.
A woman who said she is the homeowner refused to answer questions about the incident or the house. She would not say how she might be related to the family.
One neighbor, Katie Guertin, said that upon driving by the house on occasion, the “little girl’s hair was probably never brushed or anything, but can’t really judge on that.”
She and many other neighbors had no idea what was going on inside the house.
But looking at the appearance of the outside of the house, many of them were frustrated.
Matt Eberharter described “the mess, the fire hazard, the rats that were running in and out of the garage. I mean, it was horrible.”
Eberharter said he and some other neighbors confronted Mark Dorson.
“He pretty much threw attitude, and said he was doing the best he could. And we said ‘OK, well, it needs to be taken care of,’” Eberharter said.
Another neighbor said there were even complaints that the person living in a trailer in their front yard was dumping feces outside.
“It was draining off on the other guy’s property below there,” said neighbor Greg Surdyk.
KIRO 7 found records of Mark Dorson’s criminal history, including second degree assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, possessing a stolen firearm, and violation of work release.