Children found living among feces, trash, dead pet

Deborah Obrien and Jeremy Cole were arrested and charged with injury to a child after police found two children living in hazardous conditions.

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 6, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 5:36 AM

BOISE -- Two parents are in jail and their children are in the custody of the state after police found them living among feces, rotting food, flies, and a dead pet iguana.

On Wednesday, Boise Police got word from a neighbor who saw two children bathing in the canal behind their home.

Officers soon arrived at the home of Deborah O'Brien and Jeremy Cole near Fairview and Maple Grove to check on the welfare of a 4-year-old and 9-year-old living there. They found a deplorable scene.

"When law enforcement arrived they could see five to ten cats inside the home and see feces just inside the doorway," said Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Ana Mamani. "Ms. O'Brien was walking around barefoot and one of the law enforcement officers observed cat feces on her feet."

Officers also said the home was infested with house and fruit flies.

"The officer described that he believed he would breath them in if he took a deep breath," said Mamani.

Police say they even spotted a disc on the floor, labeled "porn" within reach of the kids. There was a large cage with a dead iguana inside and one of the children was seen sitting on a pile of clothes and garbage next to a soiled mattress.

"Inside the pantry was rotting food that was liquefied to the point that it was unidentifiable," said Mamani. "Law enforcement had to leave the home for their own health hazard concerns."

Police arrested the kids' parents, O'Brien and Cole, and charged them with two counts each of felony injury to a child. Both children have been turned over to the state Department of Health and Welfare.

"One of the detectives reports that this is the worst case that they've seen in ten years and they fought nausea the entire time they were there," said Mamani.

There was actually a warrant out for Cole's arrest for violating terms of his probation for a previous DUI.

Thursday was the couples' first court appearance in Ada County. Bond for both defendants was set at $25,000. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 20.

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