WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A man and woman are in the Trumbull County Jail after law enforcement took two toddlers from a Warren apartment that they said was filled with piles of trash bags, gnats, old food and drugs.
Angelica Burns, 25, and Tommy Couch, also 25, pleaded not guilty to charges of endangering children, drug paraphernalia, and possession of drug abuse instruments.
Their bonds were set at 1$12,500 each. A judge also ordered they not have any contact with their children.
Three witnesses came to the police station to report child endangering at an apartment in the 1200 block of Robert Ave. NW just before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
They said they were there earlier in the month and that two young children, ages 1 and 3, live there.
They said when they went to the apartment, the 3-year-old answered the door and Burns scolded the child, saying the child couldn’t just answer the door because “they could be here to hurt daddy,” according to the report. The witnesses said Burns “physically assaulted” the child as well.
The witnesses said the apartment was a mess and they stayed to help clean, which is when one of them said she found syringes behind the couch and by a door. When she asked about it, she said Couch — who also lives there — laughed about it and said he had lost them.
The witnesses came back about two weeks later and said the apartment was trashed again.
They claimed a family member of Couch — who they called a “meth head” — was there this time and using a bedroom to prostitute herself, police said.
So officers went to the apartment and knocked on the door several times with no answer. They ended up getting inside through an unlocked door, according to the police report.
Couch was arrested on a warrant, admitting to officers that everything they find in the apartment is his, police said.
Officers said the apartment smelled like sewage and feces, and they saw nine bags of trash piled against the wall, as well as pizza and other food all over the floor.
They said there was a filthy, stained mattress in the middle of the living room and swarms of gnats everywhere.
Going further into the apartment, police found even more trash bags piled up, trash throughout the kitchen and a mound of dirty dishes in the sink. Police said the trash bag piles in the hallway were up to four-feet tall.
According to the police report, gnats covered the kitchen cupboards and “you literally had to cover your nose and mouth to avoid eating any of the gnats that were flying around.”
Officers also found what looked to be glass from a shattered mirror throughout the hallway, according to the report.
In the bathroom, police said the trash piled up three feet high and there was something in the shower, so the people who lived there were not able to bathe. They said there was also something in the sink, so you couldn’t wash your hands.
Police said they noticed several syringes, bags of suspected meth and heroin, and other drug items — some laying next to a child’s mattress.
During their walk-through, officers said Burns started yelling and screaming at them. They said they told her to stop several times and when she wouldn’t, they handcuffed her and escorted her out.
The children told paramedics who came to the scene that they only had cookies and candy to eat, according to the police report. The paramedic asked them what they usually eat and the children said they just eat candy, the report states.
Officers bought the kids food, saying it gave the older child “the biggest smile.”
Police called Children Services and the case worker told them in her 25-year career, “this is one of the worst residence [sic] she has ever been in,” according to the report.
Both Couch and Burns were arrested and charged with endangering children, possessing drug abuse instruments and drug paraphernalia.
The children went with a family member.
“They’re sort of out of touch with reality,” a family member said. “They just don’t realize what they’re doing to their kids.”
Burns and Couch are due back in Warren Municipal Court on April 20.