MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 38-year-old Rosemount mother has been accused of child endangerment and neglect after her four children were found living in bug-ridden and unsanitary living conditions, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.
Ramona Murphy was charged with one count of child neglect and one count of child endangerment, which are both gross misdemeanors.
According to the criminal complaint, Rosemount police and the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a search warrant on Aug. 7 at the residence belonging to predatory offender 48-year-old Steven Murphy.
When authorities made entry to the residence, four children with special needs – ages 13, 9, 8 and 6 – were found living in the home. Officers soon observed substandard living conditions, including a severe issue with flies in the residence, a kitchen unfit for food consumption and spoiled food and other items on the floors throughout the residence.
Deadbolt locks were also found on all of the children’s bedroom doors. The 13-year-old child told authorities that Ramona Murphy would discipline the kids by locking them in their bedrooms, set a timer and allow them out when the timer went off, the complaint said.
The Rosemount Fire Marshal found 19 safety violations and identified the home as a level 4 out of 5 on the hoarding clutter scale from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.
After a social worker was called to the scene, it was determined that the children would be placed into foster care due to the living conditions and the fact that the father is a predatory offender, who has pending charges against him that may put the children in danger.
On Thursday, neighbors did not want to go on camera, but told us off camera since police arrived in August and took the children away, the outside of the home has been cleaned up.
Officials also say repairs have been made inside and outside the home, allowing the children to return.
Steven Murphy, the children’s father, is prohibited to live or have contact with them. He also faces charges of child neglect and endangerment.
Both Steven Murphy and Ramona Murphy will face a judge in February 2015 for child neglect and endangerment charges.