AUSTINTOWN, OH (WKBN) – Austintown police could not have imagined what they would find when they were called to a house in Austintown Wednesday after a child couldn’t get in her house after coming home from school.
Officers were called about 5:23 pm to a home on Maureen Drive after a woman who had been taking care of her neighbor’s 6-year-old child since she got off the school bus at 3:45 p.m. couldn’t locate the mother. The child had tried to go home, but the doors were locked.
The neighbor said she knocked on her neighbor’s door multiple times but there was no answer. She called police when she saw a toddler alone in the house through a window.
When police arrived, they said they found the 2-year-old in the backyard wearing only a diaper. At one point, another officer saw the child leaning over a dead rat on the back porch and that the child had possibly touched the rodent, the report stated. Officers noted in the report that the child had used a dog door at the back of the home to come and go in and out of the house and that the child appeared unkept.
Police gained entry into the house and found Deanne Hartman, 42, asleep in a bedroom. Police said Hartman was slow to wake and appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance.
Officers noted that there was a safe on the floor that was open and contained several prescription and over-the-counter medications. There were also several medications lying on the floor and half-filled beer bottles scattered about the bedroom, the report stated. Officers also noted trash, dirty laundry and other debris strewn about the house.
Officers said Hartman did not show any concern when they told her the toddler was alone outside and had possibly touched a dead rat. They said she only sat there and gave her child candy without washing the child’s hands or changing her diaper. Police said they finally instructed Hartman to change her child’s diaper and wash the toddler’s hands.
Hartman was arrested and charged with child endangering.
Mahoning County Children Services was called to the scene and both children were removed from the home.