Jerry Towler (L) Jessica Towler (C) Rebecca Black (R)
House of filth on Prince Anthony Dr., Lawrenceville
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga -- In a neighborhood of single family ranch homes in Lawrenceville, one stood out because it was surrounded by police. From the outside the home looked dilapidated. There were several cars parked on the property and piles of garbage. But police said it was even worse on the inside.
Neighbors watched as the police removed nine children from the home. The youngest was born one week ago; the oldest is nine years old. "It was very upsetting to hear kids screaming and hollering because they were being taken away from their parents," said a neighbor who told us her name was Jennifer. "I'm a mother and I'm a grandmother, and it broke my heart."
Gwinnett County Police said they had no choice. The home was unfit for children or any human being. "The inside of the home was in very poor condition," said Cpl. Jake Smith.
Police were called to the home by DFACS who received an anonymous tip that children were living in a filthy home where there was drug use going on.
Three adults in the home were arrested. Jerry Towler, 29, and his wife Jessica Towler, 31 were each charged with four counts of Cruelty to Children and Reckless Conduct. Rebecca Black was charged with five counts of the same two charges.
The Towler's are parents of four children and Black is the mother of five children, including a one-week old baby, according to Cpl. Smith.
"They found mold. They found trash everywhere, fecal matter from animals and this was spread throughout the entire home," Smith said. "There was also a very serious infestation of insects."
Cpl. Smith said the first officer who went to the home could smell a stench before she even walked inside. "The smell was the first thing she reported noticing, just an overwhelming odor of things rotting, fecal matter, it just smelled really awful," he said.
The officer found bugs in food cupboards and in a refrigerator, according to police. "The insect infestation was bad enough that when the officers walked back outside they noticed that they were covered in insects as well from walking through (the house)," Cpl. Smith said.
Police also found evidence of drug use in the home and the three adults could be facing more charges.
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