Criminal charges have been requested after a 7-year-old girl was removed from this Newburyport, Massachusetts, home condemned by the city health department for being a house of squalor.
Investigators say the girl's mother, 32-year-old Kristen Paquette, and the girl's grandmother, 54-year-old Debra Paquette, will be summoned to court to face reckless child endangerment charges.
"That sounds a little severe. I'm sure they're just people that lost control of themselves as opposed to criminals," neighbor Dan Ahern said.
While neighbors we spoke with were surprised to see these police photos of the inside of the Strong Street home filled with broken furniture, soiled clothing, feces and piles of trash, they disagreed that charging the adults is the solution.
"That doesn't solve the problem, that doesn't touch it, not even close, the problem is giving them the aid and the assistance to make better judgements," neighborhood Dawn Bennett said.
The Newburyport Health Department said it is trying to assist the family, not issuing any fines and saying in a statement, "It is the priority of the City of Newburyport and the City Health Department to work diligently with the family to provide guidance, support and to get the family the necessary help and assistance that the family may need at this time."
Officials say the girl was home schooled and that her 84-year-old great-grandmother, Bernadette Paquette, who owns the home also lived there - although she is currently at a medical facility.
Officials say the young girl is with other family members and they working with the Department of Children and Families.
"It was very, very sad, my main concern was getting that child out of those conditions and getting the whole family out of those conditions," Newburyport police officer Kevin Martin said.