Laura Barney, 32, charged with endangering the welfare of children and other offenses
Investigators said a caseworker from Allegheny County Children Youth and Families called them about children left home alone and, upon responding to the home on Marlow Street, the CYF worker said she saw four of the five children known that live in the house.
As the investigation continued, the CYF worker asked about the fifth child, a 12-year-old boy, and, according to the criminal complaint, was told he was in the basement.
A police officer checked the basement, finding conditions that were “objectively deplorable,” according to the criminal complaint, including puddles, basement rooms smelling of filth and gnats.
The 12-year-old boy was not found.
Police said the CYF caseworker made contact with Barney a short time later and, upon telling her that CYF would take steps including taking custody of the children, Barney allegedly stated, “Do what you gotta do” and allegedly threatened to cut the caseworker when she arrived at the home.
Upon her arrival, Barney was taken into custody.
Police said Barney said she had gone to a nail salon and claimed the 12-year-old was supposed to be watching the other children.
Barney faces a preliminary hearing on July 28.