Police: Four children, woman lived in squalor

Home’s condition was ‘offending to the senses’

An Altoona woman faces felony child endangerment charges after Altoona police said four children were found living in squalor on the 1900 block of Second Avenue.

Rebecca L. Greenawalt, 36, was arrested Wednesday by Altoona police after a Blair County Children, Youth & Families caseworker called police after a home visit about noon.

According to the charges, the conditions inside the home at 1904 Second Ave. were so deplorable that police were called and the children were taken into custody for placement by the county.

The visit was a follow-up based on squalid conditions allegedly encountered by Altoona officers on Sept. 7 when they responded to the home after neighbors reported four children between the ages of 1 and 12 outside, unattended. Officers didn’t find the kids outside when they arrived, and Greenawalt and a man who was also present claimed they were on the porch the entire time the children were playing in front of the home.

During this call, officers noticed the home was in extreme disarray. Blair County CYF was called, and arrangements were made for Greenawalt and the kids to stay at a hotel until the house could be cleaned up, police noted.

When caseworkers tried to visit the home on Sept. 14, no one answered the door, and when a caseworker visited on Wednesday, she found the conditions inside “offending to the senses,” Altoona police noted in the charges.

Police said two child potty chairs were in the living room, filled with and covered with urine and excrement. Next to the potty chairs was a litter box full of cat feces but almost empty of litter.

Food waste was smeared or spilled throughout the house, and the kitchen sink was filled with dirty dishes and rotting food while the bathroom toilet on the second floor was full of human waste above the seat. Vermin were also present, and the children, described as wearing soiled clothing and unwashed, were infested with lice, police said.

Garbage and broken furniture were strewn throughout the home, and dirty laundry was piled 3 feet high, police noted.

Police added the water had been shut off to the home on Sept. 7.

Greenawalt was booked Wednesday night on four felony counts

of child endangerment and released on a unsecured $50,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is slated for Oct. 3 at Central Court.