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2 arrested after kids found in Meridian home filled with trash, rotten food

The four children, who range in age from five months to 12 years old, have been placed in state custody.
Credit: Ada County Jail
Joanna and Christopher Griswold

MERIDIAN, Idaho — A Meridian couple is facing felony charges after police say officers found their children in a house filled with garbage, mildew, and expired food. 

Joanna and Christopher Griswold, 31 and 33, were taken into custody Saturday on felony injury to a child charges. Joanna Griswold also had an outstanding warrant for contempt of court.

The investigation by Meridian Police started Saturday, after officers went out to the couple's home on Lava Falls Street to follow up on a referral from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. 

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Inside the Griswolds' home, the officers found the house so filled with piles of trash, metal pieces, dirt, rotten food, clothing and soiled diapers that they were unable to find a clear path through the home. The furniture and counters were covered with rotten food, garbage, dirty dishes and unwashed baby bottles, according to police. 

In addition, police said, officers detected a strong smell of mildew in the house, and found a bottle of bleach on the floor. 

Four children were living inside the home, police say: A 12-year-old girl, two 8-year-old girls, and a 5-month-old boy. The children were declared to be in immediate danger, and taken into state custody.

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The Griswolds were arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail. If convicted of felony injury to a child, they could face up to ten years in prison.