NAMPA, Idaho (WITI/CNN) -- An Idaho couple faces a number of injury to child charges after police said they found children living in a house infested with thousands of cockroaches and hundreds of spiders.
Officers were dispatched to a home in the 400 block of North Bailey Avenue in Nampa, Idaho late Thursday afternoon, Aug. 15 for a welfare check. A reporting party told police she had received second-hand information that the house could be infested with cockroaches.
According to reports, as two officers approached the house, they could “smell a very pungent or odor of urine emitting from the residence ... and (when) looking in the front window, (saw) cockroaches crawling on the sofa.”
A resident later identified as Eugene Bergener, 50, allowed officers to enter and search the house.
“There were cobwebs on every corner and every wall, between the wall and ceiling,” Officer Matt Richardson wrote in his report. “In the kitchen, there were dead cockroaches all over the floor ... on the counters and on half-eaten food on the counter. There was a black pan that had dead cockroaches in it. There were dirty dishes that had cockroaches crawling all over them.”
“There was not a single wall in this house that did not have cockroaches ... and spider webs attached to the ceiling. As I walked into the master bedroom, there were dead cockroaches all over the floor,” the officer said.
In the bathroom, police said they found more cockroaches all over the floor, the tub, on the counter, and in each drawer, where children’s medication was stored.
“In my years of law enforcement experience, I have never seen a house (infested) to this extent. The house is unlivable for children, let alone any person,” Richardson stated. “The amount of cockroaches in the house has to be into the thousands, and possibly hundreds of spiders inside the residence, feasting on the cockroaches. In one corner of the living room, there were cockroaches lined all the way from the floor to the ceiling, and spiderwebs. While Officer Burgoyne and myself were standing inside the residence, cockroaches were falling on our heads.”
Bergener told officers he sleeps on the couch, and the female resident — later identified as Moranda Young, 32 — sleeps in the master bedroom with four children. Officers learned the woman “ ... sleeps on the bed with the three youngest, and the oldest sleeps on the floor with the cockroaches,” Richardson wrote in his report. “The master bedroom bed (had) dead cockroaches all over it. There were also live cockroaches crawling around in the master bedroom.”
According to Nampa Police Department spokesman Gary Marang, the four children who were also living in the home — girls ages 1, 3, 4, and 13 — are in the temporary care of Idaho Health and Welfare Department officials. It was not immediately clear how the children are related to the couple.
Bergener and Young were each charged with four misdemeanor counts of injury to a child and were booked into the Canyon County Jail. Both pleaded not guilty.