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Thread: 1 Child dead, over 200 animals found in squalid Chicago home

  1. #1
    Silver Member venue_26's Avatar
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    Default 1 Child dead, over 200 animals found in squalid Chicago home

    Children In Squalid Berwyn Home Had Almost Never Had Medical Care « CBS Chicago

    BERWYN, Ill. (CBS) — A disabled boy who died in a squalid Berwyn home and his siblings had never had any medical care in most of their lives, a police report says.

    As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, Lydia Price, 49, was charged Monday with two felony counts of criminal abuse and neglect of a disabled person and three misdemeanor counts of endangering the health of a child, following the death last week of her son, Matthew Degner, 14.

    LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports



    Degner was pronounced dead at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn this past Thursday afternoon after he was found dead in the back yard at 2834 Lombard Av. He was lying outside, wearing only a T-shirt

    The family’s home was filled with sick animals and was described by a shelter director as a “hell hole.” Five children between the ages of 12 and 18, including Degner, were living in the house with their mother.

    The children were all home-schooled, and a Berwyn police report says, “None have had any medical care for most of their lifetime.”

    About 200 animals were found living inside the home amid squalid conditions. The report says “the overpowering stench of animal feces” greeted authorities as they arrived, and the kitchen sink was “blocked by animal cages.”


    At least one Cockatiel — one of 74 birds found inside — was missing virtually all the feathers on its back. Its spine was visible from malnutrition. Four rabbits, a guinea pig and two dogs were encrusted with feces.

    One hundred and nine cats found in the house had to be put down. The cats had never been socialized and attacked investigators when they arrived.

    The cats also had feline AIDS and leukemia, said Linda Estrada, president and director of the Animal Welfare League.

    A raccoon and several rare kinkajous — nocturnal rainforest mammals found in South America also known as honey bears — were also found in the home.

    Furthermore, the ceiling of at least one room “completely covered with a network of intricate insect webbing,” reads the police report.

    The report says a friend would take the family shopping to pay for groceries and pet food – $705 every two weeks, and that $287 of that – or 40 percent – went for pet food.

    Estrada said her investigators told her it’s one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen. “And they’ve been doing it for a while,” she said.

    Three children have been placed under the care of the Department of Children and Family Services. An 18-year-old was hospitalized for an undisclosed illness.

    All of the surviving animals are up for adoption at the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.

  2. #2
    Gold Member eboni's Avatar
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    That's incredible. Did you check out the video on this page? The hamster looks so sad:
    Berwyn Home Stuffed With Animals Was ‘Hell Hole,’ Shelter Director Says « CBS Chicago
    ...Stopped smoking on March 8, 2011. Was trying to put a fancy ticker in my signature but it didn't work...

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    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    So the poor boy is dead in the back yard but mom never notices? Jeez WTF

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    Gold Member eboni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockchick View Post
    So the poor boy is dead in the back yard but mom never notices? Jeez WTF
    Lots of stuff out of whack here. Neighbors took them shopping regularly and did not notice any of this stuff?
    ...Stopped smoking on March 8, 2011. Was trying to put a fancy ticker in my signature but it didn't work...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockchick View Post
    So the poor boy is dead in the back yard but mom never notices? Jeez WTF
    They dragged his body out of the house in the hopes that the authorities wouldn't come in and see what killed him.

    Hoarding (all kinds, animals included) is one of those things that I just don't "get." I know it's a form of OCD, I know that it's a sickness, but that people consistently value piles of garbage and filth over their children just confounds me.

    I had to stop watching Hoarders because they make my blood pressure skyrocket. I see a glint of power in the hoarders' eyes, a secret joy (resistance? rebellion?) that makes me want to throttle them.

    I'm compassionate like that.

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    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    Jesus! That's appalling. Poor kids and animals.


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    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    That's horrific! What a nightmare. I second what eboni said- where the hell were the neighbors and why didn't they notice or report anything?
    "Schadenfreude, hard to spell, easy to feel." ~VenusinFauxFurs

    "Scoffing is one of my main hobbies!" ~Trixie

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