Springfield Police: Woman charged after leaving kids under watch of mentally ill person

A Springfield woman was charged with two counts of child endangering after police say she left two children in filthy living conditions under the supervision of someone who is mentally ill.

A police report says officers were originally dispatched to a house on Lagonda Avenue around 1:45 a.m. Thursday to check living conditions.

The woman who answered the door, Angela Ballenger, told officers she was babysitting for her sister who was in the hospital.

Ballenger said she was taking care of the children at her house, but brought them back to the Lagonda Avenue home.

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“While inside of the house, there was a strong odor of mold and there were items and trash throughout the house,” the report says. “The living conditions were poor (and) officers observed mice on the counter top.”

Ballenger told officers that she would have to take some of the children to school later that morning, but she would make sure a family friend looked after the kids who stayed at home.

A few hours later around 8:45 a.m., the report says two representatives from Children’s Services went back to the house to check the living conditions, and it appeared that a 2-year-old and 4-year-old had been left alone.

The pair from children’s services told officers that a woman came to the house shortly after they got there.

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The report says she told officers that she was mentally ill.

Ballenger and a family friend also eventually showed up to the house. Police say the family friend informed them that the woman should not have been watching the children because of her condition.

It’s unclear how long the children were left by themselves.

Ballenger was taken into custody for allowing the children to be under the supervision of the woman was mentally ill.

She was charged with two counts of child endangering and taken to the Clark County Jail.

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