Brenda Solis is the 57-year-old grandma of two teenagers, who have lived with her in her Jefferson City, Tennessee, home since their father entered the military last year. Now, she is under arrest and the two kids are in the care of the state’s Department of Child Services after what police found in her home on Wednesday, when they took Solis into custody, according to a report in The Knoxville News-Sentinel.
The children were not all that authorities removed from the home after visiting at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10. Animal control officers also entered the house and came out with several household animals — including a pig.
Police described conditions inside the home maintained — perhaps, more accurately, not maintained — by Brenda Solis as “deplorable and unfit” for either children or adults.
Family members of Brenda Solis, however, say that the woman does not need to be arrested and jailed. Instead, they suggest she needs mental health help. They say that over the past year, Solis has slipped into a deep depression, and that’s when the condition of her home began to deteriorate, along with her sanitation and hygiene.
“It’s pretty bad. It’s worse than I ever dreamed it would be,” her sister, Diana Diegel, told WATE-TV News. “This is like a 360. Her house used to be perfect. I mean you could put it in a House Beautiful magazine.”
Police said that when they arrived at the home after receiving a complaint about the conditions there, what they found was both shocking and disgusting.
Upon entering the home, they said, they were overcome by the powerful odor of excrement, the source of which quickly became clear. Upon entering the home, they found the two teens, ages 13 and 14, walking around shoeless through piles and puddles feces and urine from the numerous animals living in the home apparently uncared-for.
“She’s disabled, she needs help,” a tearful Diegel told the TV station. “I don’t know how to get her the help.”
Watch the WATE-TV report in the video below.
Diegel said she was living in the basement of the same home, but rarely ventured into the upstairs living area. As a result, she was allegedly unaware that her sister has allowed the home to slip into such an unsanitary state.
Her son, Matthew Sloas, said that his mother started to fall apart emotionally after a pair of devastating losses.
“The living situation for years was good. They were happy here with her and her house wasn’t always like this,” Sloas said. “When my father and her mother passed away, she just went downhill.”
Unfortunately, the slide into depression described by her family members came at a time when Solis was responsible for a home with two teenage children, five dogs, four cats and a single pig.
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The children reportedly had no clean clothes, or any other hygienic household items. They were taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital where they were given a full medical evaluation.
Brenda Solis now faces a charge of child neglect in connection with the horrific conditions in which she forced the two children to live. But, her sister says that everything that happened stems from Brenda’s mental illness.
“She doesn’t need jail, okay? She doesn’t need that. She’s not a mean person. She was never mean to the kids. She was never mean to the animals, nothing. She’s got a big heart,” Diegel said.
With Brenda Solis under arrest on the child neglect charge, the father of the two children now says that he is working to regain full custody of the teens.
[Image via Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office]