FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Two children are in state custody after investigators say they were found living in a filthy home. The mother of the children — Lindsay Wallin, 22 — is in jail charged with child neglect.
Investigators say Wallin lived inside a filthy home in Pompano Beach with her two children, ages 5 and 6 months.
An arrest reports says investigators found disgusting conditions inside the home, including mold on the walls, piles of trash on the floor, rotting food, moldy water and cockroaches everywhere, even in the children’s crib and bed.
The Department of Children and Families took custody of the children Tuesday evening.
A judge told Wallin during a bond court hearing Wednesday that it was for her own good.
“It’s pretty clear right now,” said Judge John Hurley. “You’re not a responsible parent. You shouldn’t have the children in your custody.”
After the court hearing, cameras captured Wallin, walking down a hallway in the Broward County courthouse, crying.
Her father, Jon, said his daughter is working on becoming a better mother and recently put her 5-year-old in preschool and returned to school herself.
“She’s not the best but she’s trying,” he said.
Jon also allowed CBS4 cameras inside the home he shares with his daughter and grandchildren. When we went in, the house appeared organized but with holes in a door and dirt on the walls.
CBS 4’s Carey Codd asked Wallin about the living conditions.
“It looks a little dirty,” Codd commented.
“It is dirty,” Jon said. “I will admit that. I can’t afford to clean it. By the time I get home at night, I sit on my couch.”
Codd asked, “Was it better than for your grandkids to be taken out of here?”
“No,” Jon said. “My grandkids are safe. They’re healthy.”
Our cameras didn’t see any cockroaches on the floor and Jon denied there was an infestation but admitted he had seen some cockroaches in the past.
“Yeah, a couple,” he said. “There was a few.”
Outside of the house, sat a large pile of garbage filled with yard waste, a children’s toy and a mattress. Wallin said they spent an hour cleaning up the place.
Jon blames neighbors for making a noise complaint about the family’s barking dogs that led to his daughter’s arrest and the removal of his grandchildren.
Investigators say they also removed several malnourished and flea-infested dogs from the property.
The one dog CBS 4 cameras saw inside the home appeared healthy.
A spokesperson for DCF said the children are awaiting placement with a foster family. The agency said their goal is to eventually reunite Wallin with her kids but not until they’re confident she can care for them and proves that her home is livable.