Cops: Neglected baby, dead horse found on property

Officials were called to a home in Liberty County to discover neglected animals and a toddler living in filth

August 9, 2012 5:18:15 AM PDT
An animal neglect investigation led to the discovery of a baby girl allegedly covered in roaches and kept in a dog's cage.

An animal neglect complaint led to parents who have a history of child abuse charges.

Investigators rescued a 16-month-old baby girl. The toddler was found inside a filthy home surrounded by animals and even animal carcasses, police say.

Mabel Larsen and her husband Aaron Parker live at the address.

"Children are God's gift. I'm sorry... They're just God's gifts and why would you do that?" said neighbor Jessica Whitton.

"I can't understand how someone can live in those conditions, much less how you can have a baby in those conditions on the floor or in a cage," said neighbor Renee Davis.

The toddler was found Tuesday night during an animal cruelty investigation. Investigators found a rotting, dead horse in the back yard, two severely malnourished horses, a dead dog, 20 cats and 10 dogs -- four of them unresponsive. That number is expected to climb.

"The interior of the house is certainly one of the worst I've seen. It's very rough, just deplorable conditions," said Captain Rex Evans with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office. said

Both Larsen and Parker were still on probation after being convicted of injury to a different child, a 10-year-old girl, in October 2009. The girl is Parker's daughter. She had been tied to a weight bench with zip ties and was removed by child protective services after neighbors found her soiled and starving. She is now living with relatives.

A month later, child protective services also removed four other children -- a 4-year-old girl, and three boys, ages 6, 7 and 9. All of them are in adoptive placement.

Detectives say Larsen is refusing to answer their questions, except to say this newly rescued baby is hers.

"It is my understanding that she hasn't changed her position. She is still less than cooperative," Captain Evans said.

"I am just a mom and I have two boys," Whitton said. "I just don't see how people can do this and get away with it."

Parker was being called a person of interest in the case. Larsen is charged with animal cruelty, but those charges are expected to change as the investigation progresses. The baby is in protective custody.

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