3 children left in roach-infested closet

3 children left in roach-infested closet

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Shocking, heartbreaking, unbelievable, that is how officers and a constable described what they found Tuesday in a South Jackson home. 3 children huddled together, frightened, and hungry inside the closet of a house that was so filthy and covered with roaches officers feared for our safety going into the home. Investigators were searching for a 7 year old as the mother of two of the children faced child neglect charges.

WLBT obtained exclusive video of one room in the house at 2845 Greenview Drive. There were children's toys, a bag of cookies, an opened and what appeared to be spoiled jar of mayonnaise, and roaches in almost every space. It was one of the cleanest areas of the house.

The landlord and owner, Dub Waltz said 24 year old Lena Crosby and her father Eddie Crosby had lived there for about a year and never paid rent. He did not know the condition of the house or the 3 children he found inside, hiding in a closet.

"I opened the door and cut the light on and there's 3 little eyes looking at me," said Waltz.

Waltz and Constable Jerry Moore arrived at the house around 10:15 Tuesday morning with an eviction notice. They could not believe the children, a 2 year old girl, and 3 month old boy had been left there with a 12 year old, now identified as Lena Crosby's younger sister.

"The only thing she had to feed the infant was some water. There was no food in the house or anything else," Moore said.

Lena Crosby is facing one count of felony child neglect. She was arrested by Hinds County Child Protection and Sex Crimes Investigator, Angela Williams at UMC where the children were taken. Crosby said nothing as she was brought into the Hinds County jail Tuesday night.

"There is raw sewage in the house that backed up within the toilet and the tub area. There are pests inside the house, that need to have an exterminator to come in. Rats, roaches? Yes," said Investigator Williams.

Several people who live in this neighborhood told us they did not know the Crosby family. The children are now in the custody of the Department of Human Services. DHS officials say it is important to report any signs of child abuse or neglect.

"Wherever you are if you observe any type of abuse or neglect of a child you can certainly report it anonymously," said Maggie Mixon, Regional Director of Family and Children's Services for DHS.

In the latest development, investigators continue to search for Eddie Crosby and his 7 year old son. Crosby faces possible charges and officers want to make sure the boy is safe.

The 3 month old boy remains hospitalized. We were told he is malnourished. It is not known how long the children had been left alone, but the 12 year old did tell investigators Crosby said she would be gone for a week.

To report child abuse or neglect call 1-800-222-8000.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.