Children found locked inside feces-filled house without food or heat

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LAKE STEVENS, Wash. (PIX11) -- A couple in Washington was arrested Tuesday, four days after police rescued three children who were found abandoned without food or heat inside a house filled with feces and trash.

The police were alerted Saturday after a man who was reportedly owed money by the couple stopped by and discovered a 7-year-old girl and her 3-year-old brother padlocked inside the house in the 9700 block of 11th Place SE, according to KCPQ.

When officers broke into the house, they also discovered a third child -- an 11-month-old -- padlocked in an upstairs bedroom.

Detectives described the house as being filled with animal feces and garbage with no heat or food. They said there was only an empty snack-size potato chip bag and an empty Pringles can, but no other signs of food.

The condition of the home looked like it was being torn down, with drywall missing, insulation missing, water coming through the ceiling, police said, adding that it was about 40 degrees inside.

The 11-month-old was suffering from the effects of hypothermia and dehydration, had a 94-degree temperature and was unable to move his extremities when he was rushed to the hospital Saturday, according to Lake Stevens Police Cmdr. Dennis Taylor.

The children are now with Child Protective Services.

Investigators haven't determined yet how long the children had been left alone, but the 33-year-old parents had to be tracked down by officers.

Both were arrested for felony criminal mistreatment and abandoning a child.

The building inspector has condemned the house from any further occupancy.