Warrants issued for Anderson couple on child neglect charges

Mar. 22—ANDERSON — Warrants have been issued for two parents facing neglect charges after Anderson police officers found their children living in filthy conditions

Warrants have been issued for Cristine Castro, 33, and James Johnson, 24, 1100 block of Indiana Mound Boulevard, on three felony counts of neglect of a dependent.

According to court records, police received a tip from a neighbor who was worried about the children's safety. They told police the family's apartment was covered in feces and that a "large reptile" was living in the bathroom.

Castro said the lizard was in a cage and away from the children, but it was found in the bathtub with children's toys in close proximity.

Officer Kayla Gilley said when officers entered the apartment they noticed a strong odor and observed swarms of flies and gnats on the ceilings, walls and flying around the apartment.

Large amounts of trash were found in the apartment that appeared to have been there for some time.

All three children were wearing dirty clothes and smelled like stale urine, according to court documents.

The officers then went into the apartment's only bathroom and found the lizard living in the bathtub and the toilet "overflowing" with feces and urine.

Although Castro said a repair order was placed for the toilet, none were filed with the maintenance staff.

The three children were transported to Anderson Community Hospital where nursing staff bathed and put them in clean diapers and clothing.

The hospital staff noticed blotching red marks on one child from the foot to his buttocks. A young girl had a bruise on her buttock and a third had multiple marks.

All three children were removed by the Department of Child Services.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.