Young mother gets time served, probation for child endangerment

HOLLIDAYSBURG – An Altoona mother was sentenced to time served in prison and placed on probation for three years after she pleaded guilty Friday to three counts of endangering the welfare of her children.

Tiffany Elizabeth Peters, 26, was charged after Altoona police made two visits to her home in the last few months.

On Sept. 29, 2013, officers were called to her home on 20th Street for a domestic disturbance.

When they arrived, the disturbance was over, but officers discovered another problem.

Three children there, ages 1, 3 and 4, had not been bathed in several days. One child had feet that were black with dirt, the police affidavit stated.

The child wore a diaper that had not been changed for 16 hours.

Garbage lay on the floors, and the odor of garbage was prevalent throughout the dwelling.

Dirty clothes were strewn about.

The refrigerator was bare aside from condiments and a carton of milk, according to the court papers.

The children were taken to UPMC Altoona, where nurses bathed the children. It was reported to police that “sticky stuff” in the hair of one child was feces.

Blair County Children, Youth and Families placed the children with other family members.

By Jan. 31, Peters and her husband, Chad, had regained custody of the youngsters.

While an officer was present, the older children relayed that their mouths hurt when they ate.

A check revealed the youngsters were suffering from badly decayed teeth.

The police affidavit stated there were “large holes” in the teeth of the older children. The mother was again charged with endangering the welfare of the two older children.

The teeth of the children were so badly decayed that extractions and fillings were required.

Tiffany Peters appeared before Blair County Judge Timothy M. Sullivan on Friday morning on three charges of child endangerment.

The judge, in accordance with terms of a plea agreement, sentenced Peters to time served to 23 months behind bars followed by three years’ probation.

The judge said she was not to have contact with the children unless permission is received from the child welfare agency.

Peters’ attorney, Mark Zearfaus, said Friday that Peters does not seem like a person who would neglect her children, but he said drugs had been a problem in the home.

Her goal, he said, is to get a job and get her children back.

Chad Peters has also been charged with several offenses of endangering the welfare of children. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 14, according to court records.

Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.