Charged: The father of the children, Wayne Sperling, 66, is also charged with child abuse after the children were found living at his filthy home. Bailey, 35, lived in a different part of the block but saw them daily
(SOURCE) Four young children who could only communicate in grunts when they were discovered living in a feces-ridden home had been known to child welfare for more than a year, it has emerged.
Caseworkers and police officers had even visited the home in Denver, Colorado but concluded the boys – who had to sleep on urine-soaked beds with no sheets – were ‘fine’, police reports show.
Records also reveal that there were previous child abuse convictions against the parents, while a lawyer who works opposite the apartment block said his complaints to child services were ignored.
The boys, aged two, four, five and six, were found living in horrendous conditions with their father, Wayne Sperling, 66, on September 29.
Lashing out: Lorinda Bailey shouts at reporters while walking from the Denver Justice Center on the first day of her hearing on Tuesday. Her four malnourished sons were found living in a feces-covered home
Police checked on the home after the children’s mother, Lorinda Bailey, sparked concern during a trip to the doctors and found two inches of cat feces under the bunk bed where the boys had slept.
Bailey had previously lost her parental rights to three older children four years ago, the Post said.
In April 2012, police interviewed the parents in the presence of a Denver County child welfare caseworker after reports that three of the children, who were partially clothed or naked, were hanging out an 8-foot high window above a spiked fence.
Hearing: Bailey, who was known to child welfare, enters court at the Denver Justice Center on Tuesday
Accused: Her sons could not speak and were only wearing diapers when they were found in the filthy home
The police report simply concluded: ‘The children did not talk at any point but appeared fine.’
The call came after David Littman, a family law attorney working across the street from the apartment, called police to report his fears.
But he added that he also called child protective services last summer as he saw the boys were often unclothed and unsupervised and were throwing toys from their window, he told the Denver Post.
He said he never received a call about what had become of his complaint.
Two further calls in 2012 and 2013 to a child abuse hotline were not investigated, sources told 7News.
Denver County Department of Human Services officials said they could not discuss the case because of privacy laws and the state child welfare division opened a review of the incident.
Scene: A man walks past the residence of Sperling, where the four boys were found in deplorable conditions. Police records show that officers had previously responded to complaints
Investigators were eventually called in last month after Bailey, 35, took the youngest child to St Joseph’s Children’s Hospital for treatment to a cut to his forehead.
Although Ms Bailey lived in another part of the apartment block, she claimed to have seen her boys almost every day.
The child, who has not been named, was said by the emergency room doctor to have been unable to speak, was unwashed, and smelled of cigarette smoke.
Denver Police were called and officer N Rocco-McKeel attended the hospital to investigate. When he arrived he spoke to the doctor and Denver Human Services case worker, Jill Perry.
Ms Perry told him there were three other boys in the family’s home in 18th Avenue and asked officer Rocco-McKeel to accompany her on a welfare check, according to the affidavit.
Questions: Family attorney David Littman, pictured in his law office opposite the home in Denver, said he called child welfare about concerns he had about the children – but that calls were ignored
When they arrived, officer Rocco-McKeel reported a strong smell of a decomposing animal coming from inside. He said the ‘smell became unbearable’ as they entered the apartment.
Although he could not locate the source, he said it seemed to be coming from a back room that was so full of flies ‘they were covering every surface’.
Officer Rocco-Mckeel also saw five cats running around and said there was faeces on the floor throughout the apartment.
The children could only communicate with each other using ‘infant-like noises’, the report noted.
He claimed all the children seemed to be about the same size, and he could not tell the age or developmental differences between the three oldest children.
Two of the youngsters were wearing nothing but nappies.
Bailey denied that her children had developmental problems and claimed they spoke to her without any difficulty. She also denied that the apartment was was unsafe or dirty.
Investigation: Police were alerted when the youngest child was taken for treatment to St Joseph’s Hospital
None of the children attend school or daycare, and Sperling said that he was ‘applying to home school’ the six-year-old child.
The children were placed in protective custody and all four were given medical examinations.
When investigators returned to the home on September 30, they noticed attempts had been made to clean up, but described the smell as ‘was still overwhelming’.
Sperling and Bailey have been charged with four counts of felony child abuse. Bailey, who is free on bond, appeared in court Tuesday while Sperling remains in custody.
They are scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing October 29.