Police responded to a 911 call requesting that they check up on three little boys in a Tacoma, Washington, home. What they discovered more closely resembled a prison cell in a third-world country than a home. The boys were found locked up in a room filled with excrement and urine, so much so that the carpet squished.
The boys' mother, 26-year-old Tasha Noel Herndon, now faces charges of criminal mistreatment and unlawful imprisonment, three counts each.
It was a phone tip that first alerted police to the boys' plight. The unidentified woman told authorities that she had been inside the house and it reeked with the smell of urine. According to the Guardian, she heard crying children and a door being rattled. She also reported that she had seen Herndon throw crackers through a slit in the door.
The situation was even worse than described by the tipster. The boys, ages two, three, and six, were locked inside a bedroom filled with urine and feces. Feces was smeared on the walls, and the carpet was so heavy with urine that the officers' boots literally squished as they walked into the room. There was a deadbolt on the door, too high for even the oldest boy to reach, and a hole cut through the bottom of the door for passing food through.
Two of the little boys were naked and the third was only wearing a pair of soiled underwear. All were filthy. When officers arrived, the 6-year-old was lying unresponsive in bed, according to the News Tribune. They were taken to a nearby hospital and are now reported to be doing ok.
KOMO reports that Herndon told police that she smoked pot every day.
Every day her children lived in squalor, but court documents show that Tasha Herndon had an excuse for everything.
The boys did not have beds, but Herndon blamed that on the children, saying they had broken them.
The electricity has been off since March, which, Herndon explained to police, was the reason she couldn't keep food in the house.
They were naked because the boys wouldn't keep clothes on.
She told police that she only locked the boys in the room when she took a nap or a shower, saying that she had no control over them.
However, once the boys were deemed well enough to talk to authorities, they told a different story. The three-year-old has poor verbal skills, but gestured to indicate how he ate hamburgers and pizza off of the floor. The door stayed locked all the time, according to the oldest boy. His mother made him pick up the poop with his bare hands and throw it out the window.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told KOMO that "she fed them, barely, through a slot in the door. It was like a prison cell, except worse because there was no toilet or running water in the room."
Linquist says that he sees bad situations as a regular part of his job, but "even in our business we don't see cases this grim very often."
Sadly, the Inquisitr reported another story all to similar to this one, less than a month ago, where a 10-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl were found malnourished and locked in a room in their own excrement.
The Herndon boys are now in protective custody.
Their mother has pleaded not guilty to the charges, reports the Blaze. Tasha Herndon is being held on $300,000 bond. Her next court appearance is July 1.
Even if convicted, this mother who locked her little boys in a room wallowing in their own excrement "will only serve between six and twelve months behind bars," according to KOMO's Kara Kostanich.