DES MOINES (AP) — Des Moines police arrested a couple living with a baby in a garage without heat, electricity, or a bathroom after neighbors alerted authorities.
Danae Haynes, 23, of Des Moines, and Justin Sorter, 22, of Pleasant Hill, are charged with child endangerment causing bodily injury, possession of drug paraphernalia and probation violations, police said.
They are being held in the Polk County Jail.
The Iowa Department Human Services has taken custody of the baby. Sorter is Haynes' boyfriend but not the baby's father, police said.
The child, estimated to be about 9 months old, was found to be healthy but was not dressed to withstand near freezing temperatures. Police were estimating the child's age. They said the mother could not provide the exact age.
“Last night it got down to 32 degrees, and the child was not dressed for that,” Officer Ryan Mann told the Des Moines Register.
Neighbors tipped off police at 8 p.m. Thursday that the couple were raising the child in the detached garage littered with trash on Des Moines's east side.
“It was absolutely filthy,” Mann said. “There was trash everywhere.”
Police say the couple had permission to stay in the garage from the owners of the home on the property.
The couple had placed a space heater and blankets inside of a tent within the garage, which is a fire hazard, police said.
They found pipes used for smoking narcotics, and K2, a synthetic narcotic, in the garage.
Sorter told police he had “smoked a bowl of K2 within the past half-hour.”
A police report indicated that officers also found a large hunting knife with a fixed blade next to where the child was sleeping.
The cases were not yet listed in court records.
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