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PD: Child living in PHX home with bugs and rats

Posted at 1:55 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 18:53:35-04

The interior of a north Phoenix home was so disgusting that first responders could only spend 10 minutes inside the home at a time.

Court records show that the living conditions an 8-year-old child was forced to live in were so bad Department of Child services' workers were, "immediately overwhelmed by the conditions inside."

Police responded to the home of 28-year-old Vernia Elizabeth Livingston and 32-year-old Gilbert Martinez, on May 27. The landlord went inside the home to spray for bugs and found the home, "in an overwhelming state of filth and was completely infested with bed bugs, cockroaches and rats."

She contacted police knowing there was an 8-year-old child that lived there.

Authorities reportedly found dogs and cats chasing and eating rats at the home, near 37th Avenue and Deer Valley Road. "The furniture, walls, ceilings and floors were so highly infested with bed bugs that in some places, the ceilings appeared to be black."

In addition, there were animals and bug feces throughout the house including the areas where the boy would eat and sleep. They also found prescription drugs and weapons right next to the child's toys.

Police say the boy was well spoken, telling them he usually feeds himself, but did not have any lunch or dinner that day. He said he didn't want DCS to be called because he likes living with his mother.

He also allegedly, told them that he doesn't shower much because the shower is broken and he lost his toothbrush.

Court paperwork indicates there are 27 prior DCS cases against the mother.

Both adults have been arrested for child abuse.