Kelsey Marie Johnson is a 30-year-old woman from Bismarck, North Dakota, who was charged with the care of four children, all under the age of 10-years-old. But the way she chose to maintain, or fail to maintain, her home with the young children, has now led police to take those kids away and thrown Johnson in jail, according to a report by West Dakota News 5 TV.
Whether Kelsey Johnson is actually the mother of the four hapless kids, whose names have been withheld from the public, has not been made clear by police in the North Dakota capital city, or in local media reports of the shocking arrest.
A 30-year-old Bismarck woman was arrested for child neglect after 4 children were found in unlivable conditions.https://t.co/4ylf6yvHGX
— KFYR-TV (@KFYRTV) July 22, 2016
Here’s what happened, according to a report in the local newspaper, The Bismarck Tribune.
Kelsey Johnson lived in a mobile home park with the four children, whose ages are reported as 2, 7, 8, and 9-years-old by KXN TV News on Wednesday.
But police received reports about something wrong in the home, so officers paid a visit to question her earlier this week.
The following video news report from Valley News Live contains further details on the arrest of Kelsey Marie Johnson this week, and the fate of the four children living in her home.
When the police investigators approached the home, according to their report of the interview, they were 30 feet away when they were able to smell a stomach-turning odor.
“While interviewing the woman 30 feet from the home, an odor of decaying garbage and waste was noticeable from the residence,” Bismarck Police Sgt. Mark Buschena told the Tribune. “The officer reports there was no way you could step without stepping on clothing, food, dirty diapers or animal and human feces.”
In addition to the garbage and feces filling the home, the place had been taken over by insects, of the type who feast on human waste, the police said.
“Inside the home, hundreds of flies were found flying around,” Buschena recounted.
When officers opened the refrigerator in the Kelsey Johnson home, they found it filled with decaying and rotten food. The home also included a laundry room, but apparently, the woman rarely if ever did laundry, because dirty clothes were piled high in that room — as well as next to the furnace in the home, which was missing its cover.
The investigators checked out the shower as well and found it unusable due to the fact that soiled laundry was stacked in the shower area.
With dirty clothes stacked high adjacent to an open furnace, the house became a fire hazard, police said, among the numerous reasons why the place was deemed unlivable not only by the investigating officers but the Bismarck city health inspector as well.
As a result, the four children were removed from the home and placed with relatives, and Kelsey Johnson was arrested. She has been ordered by District Judge James Hill to have no contact with any of the children after he set her unsecured bond at $1,000.
The incident comes about five weeks after another child neglect case in Bismarck, a city of about 64,000 people, making it the second-largest city in North Dakota.
Bismarck Police say two people were arrested for child neglect after officers found a young child walking alone. https://t.co/K3MJ8AJ2R0
— KFYR-TV (@KFYRTV) June 9, 2016
In the earlier case, a couple was charged with child neglect after their young son was found wandering alone on the morning of June 8, and the parents failed to report the boy missing until 4 p.m. that afternoon.
The parents, 26-year-old Zachariah Treetop and 22-year-old Kaitlin Shoots-The-Enemy were arrested, with the mom — who was wanted on a separate outstanding warrant — was given a $3,000 bond, while the dad was given only a $500 bond.
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As for Kelsey Marie Johnson, there was no court date reported for when she would face her four charges of felony child neglect.
[Image via Bismarck Police Department]