Police find kids in home with 4 feet of trash, ‘mice running amok’


A Springfield man and woman have been charged with child endangering after police alleged they had four children in a home with 4-foot-tall trash piles and mice.

Katheryne Ballenger, 25, and George Thomas, 42, were each charged with four counts of child endangering. Police alleged their home in the 900 block of Tibbetts Avenue was a risk to the health and safety of the children living there.

READ MORE: Springfield mom gets 5 years in prison after baby’s skull fractured

“The house was unclean and unsanitary for the four children living in the home,” according to court records.

“The house had very large holes in the walls, where the children had access,” the report says. “There was moldy, rotten food in the refrigerator and microwave, trash piled up to about four feet. There were mice running amok and also a report of bed bugs.”

The four children were between the ages of 7 months and 5 years. The children were removed and placed into foster care, according to court records.

Police originally came to the home after they received information a missing adult and a man with outstanding warrants were staying there, according to court records.

Ballenger and Thomas told police they had been staying at the home for about two months, the report says. They face a maximum of 6 months in jail or a $1,000 fine for each count of child endangering.

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