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Seven Children Ordered Removed from Squalid Home in Texas

Yet another case of grossly mismanaged household in US has come to light .

A Texas judge on Wednesday ordered seven young children removed from their home in Lubbock after authorities discovered it was infested with rats and filled with garbage, including stacks of dirty diapers nearly 4 feet high in closets.

Authorities went to the dilapidated house after the 26-year-old Gloria Ramirez called a funeral home seeking a casket for the stillborn, 4-month-old fetus she had delivered in the bathtub with help from her oldest child, a 9-year-old girl. The fetus was found in a baby wipe box in the refrigerator, according to court documents.

Authorities arrived at the house July 7. Decaying food lay around the home, trash bins overflowed, and mattresses had no sheets and were dirty, Child Protective Services spokesman Greg Cunningham said.

"The lack of sanitation was just amazing," Lubbock police Sgt. Scott Farmer said. "Trash is one thing but what they were storing up was ... my goodness."

The children, as young as 11 months, all had to be treated for head lice, and the two youngest were taken to the hospital for suspected dehydration, the documents say.

Anthony Moya, the 40-year-old father of the six younger children, has been charged with seven counts of child endangerment, and the same charges were expected to be filed against Ramirez next week, Farmer said.

There was little food, and some of the children told CPS investigators they ate only a hot dog out of the freezer for breakfast that morning, having been prohibited from opening the refrigerator, documents show.

The oldest child often was left to care for the other six when Moya and Ramirez went out, court records state.

After the children were removed, a city code enforcement inspector cited the home for 37 violations, including unsafe wiring, no working hot water heater, holes in exterior walls and no proper connectio n to public sewer and water systems, according to the report.

Moya was released on $17,500 bail Saturday.

Judge Blair Cherry told Ramirez and Moya that the agency's goal is to reunite the family.

Wednesday's ruling wasn't the first time Ramirez and Moya have lost custody of their children. In May 1999, CPS removed the oldest daughter and a son Ramirez had with Moya for physical neglect, Cunningham said. The parents completed a program and regained custody in October 2000, he said.


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