Laura Michelle Frazier
MOUNT CARMEL — Two children ages 3 and 6 were removed from a Mount Carmel home last week after police allegedly found unhealthy living conditions — including bugs, maggots, rotting food, trash and dirty diapers — throughout the residence.
The children’s mother, Laura Michelle Frazier, 31, 44 Cypress Street, Mount Carmel, was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court on two counts of child neglect.
Mount Carmel Police Department Officer Bobby Moffitt was dispatched to Frazier’s house last Wednesday afternoon on a request for a child welfare check.
Moffitt stated that as Frazier opened the front door he instantly smelled a foul odor coming from inside the apartment. Moffitt reportedly had to push the door open due to debris on the floor.
Upon inspecting the living room and kitchen area, Moffitt observed, “There were clothes covering the floor, food items in the floor, and dirty dishes in the sink and on the countertops. In the kitchen was old food in the floor, and in the refrigerator there were dead bugs and maggots on the food.”
Moffitt added that the bathroom floor and vanity were covered with trash, and in the children’s bathroom he found the floor to be covered with food, drink cans and clothes. He said there were no sheets or blankets on the bed.
“I opened the door to the upstairs bathroom and the smell was overwhelming in the bathtub, where there were dirty pots and pans that had food dried on them, and trash covered the floor,” Moffitt said. “Outside the upstairs bathroom were approximately 15-20 used diapers in a pile.”
Despite the living conditions, Moffitt said the children were “decently dressed and somewhat clean.”
Frazier initially stated that the children stay there two hours per day, but further investigation revealed that she has custody day and night Thursday through Saturday.
The Department of Children’s Services was called to the residence, and the children were placed in the custody of other family members.
A June 3 trial date was set for Frazier, who will remain free on her $750 bond.