Three facing child neglect charges in Ardmore for letting kids live among rats, trash

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Carter County deputies arrested three people earlier this week after discovering two children were living among rodents and bags of trash at a house on A Street NW.

George Hodge, Billy Vaughn and Samantha Vaughn were arrested Monday night for child neglect.

Carter County deputies report they were trying to serve a warrant for another person at the house at the intersection of A Sreet NW and 10th Avenue NW around 10:15 p.m.

Deputies checked the house and found piles of trash and dirty clothes in several rooms of the house as well as several rats and mice.

The smell of the house was described as a mixture of smoke, rat urine and feces.

Deputies report they found a one-year-old and three-year-old sleeping in a room.

"I looked into the crib and observed what appeared to be chew marks from the rats and mice on pillows inside the crib with the one-year-old child and chew holes in the crib," the deputy said in his report.

The children were taken to the hospital after one child had several bruises and the other had black spots on their teeth.

After the hospital, they were taken to a children's shelter.

One neighbor said the house has had activity at all times of the night and would see the two kids without parents around.

"I was seeing them running out here in the streets and nobody coming to get them," the neighbor said. "I've seen the yard and I've seen the characters that come in and out of that house. I just didn't think it was a safe environment at all."

Oklahoma DHS says reporting child abuse and neglect is a legal responsibility and that the 1-800-522-3511 hotline is available 24 hours a day.

"I never like the thought of a child being without their parent because I couldn't imagine that happening to me," the neighbor said. "But in a situation like that, hopefully, they just go somewhere safe where they can be loved and taken care of."

The three suspects could face up to life in prison if found guilty.

Court documents said the three suspects will be back in court on November 21.