An Upper Chichester couple is behind bars after police say their two daughters were found malnourished and covered with bug bites inside a filthy home.
Officials say the investigation began when a 7-year-old girl was found running along Market Street near Meetinghouse Road in Upper Chichester last August. Police say the girl was alone and dirty. They contacted the Children & Youth Services who launched an investigation.
On Tuesday, investigators say the CYS caseworkers contacted the Upper Chichester Police. The caseworkers told police the 7-year-old girl had not received any medical attention in more than four years. They also claimed the girl was never enrolled in school. The caseworkers told police they were concerned about the girl’s 5-year-old sister as well.
A detective, police officer as well as two caseworkers then went to the home of the girls’ parents, Vincent and Carole McDonald, on the 800 block of Bethel Avenue. The officers say they immediately noticed a foul odor from the home when they arrived.
When confronted by the officers, Vincent McDonald allegedly admitted conditions inside his home were unsafe and also gave conflicting reports of the whereabouts of his children.
The officers say McDonald finally allowed them inside the house after a few minutes. When they went inside, the officers say they found mold, feces, urine and animals running loose. They then say they found the two girls malnourished, dirty and with bug bites on their legs.
The officers say they also found Carole McDonald inside the home. The woman appeared to be under the influence of prescription medication, was unsteady and confused, according to investigators.
Police arrested both parents. They were charged with endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment. They are both being held in prison after failing to post bail.
The two girls were taken to the hospital and then released to CYS. Investigators have not yet revealed their conditions.
According to officials, this is not the first time the couple was accused of child neglect. In 2002, they were accused of endangering the welfare of their six children. Sources told the Delaware County Times that they lost custody of all six children after they pleaded guilty to the charges.