UPDATE: Two People Arrested in Huntington on Child Neglect Charges

By: WSAZ News Staff
By: WSAZ News Staff

UPDATE 5/21/14 @ 5:45 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It's proof that you never know what's going on behind closed doors.

On Tuesday night, West Virginia State Police were called to a home in the 1900 block of Underwood Avenue after complaints of the smell of ammonia, and a possible meth lab.

"We got a call on a check welfare, which could potentially be a meth lab as a result of a strong odor of urine emitting from the house," Trooper Will Hash said.

But investigators say once they got inside the home, the residents, Kellie Gartin, 32, and Kenneth Hutchinson, 28, denied having a meth lab, and even allowed troopers to check inside the home.

That's when troopers say they found a house of horrors, including urine-stained carpets, piles of dog feces and a kitchen filled with thousands of flies and gnats.

"We made it to the downstairs, didn't even go to the upstairs and I had everyone come out of the house," Hash said. "The fecal matter and the odor was strong. The odor of ammonia would burn your nose. There was a couple inches high of dogs fecal matter in the back room and scattered through the residence."

State Police say every room in the house was unsanitary and filled with complete filth. They say even worse, is the fact the couple's three young children had been living in those conditions.

"The children, the two 8-year olds and the 6-year old, they don't have a say." Trooper Hash said. "That's what's sad is the parents don't know any better that they shouldn't be living like this. They said they cleaned the house just the other day. This is years of laziness and neglect."

Both Gartin and Hutchinson were arraigned Tuesday on six counts of felony child neglect. They're now in the Western Regional Jail on $30,000 bond each.

The couple's children are now in the custody of another family member.

The home has been sealed off by code enforcement.

ORIGINAL STORY 5/21/14 @ 6:35 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two people are behind bars on three counts of child neglect each after investigators say they were found to be living in squalor in a home with three children inside.

According to the West Virginia State Police, Kelli Gartin and Kenneth Hutchinson were arrested Tuesday night at their home in the 1900 block of Underwood Avenue in Huntington.

Investigators say they received a call about a possible meth lab in the home due to the pungent odor coming from the house. Troopers say they didn't find a meth lab, but they say the home was filled with animal feces and the strong stench of ammonia.

Troopers say the three children, all age eight or younger, are in the custody of other family members who police say were "appropriate."

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