Three face neglect charges after nine children removed from filthy Independence home

Three adults face child neglect charges after Independence police found nine children living in a filthy house amid garbage piles, roaches, flies and the odor of a dead animal.

Jackson County prosecutors charged Angela R. Haney, 30, with four counts of child neglect. Joseph L. Stalker, 48, and his wife, Erica L. Stalker, 29, each face five counts of child neglect.

Authorities said 12 people lived in the house in the 1900 block of South Overton Avenue. One child, a 9-year-old boy, had multiple bedbug bites all over his body.

According to court records, police went to the residence Saturday to check on the children. After entering, an officer immediately smelled an overwhelming odor of cat urine and something similar to a dead animal.

Heaps of clutter and trash were in the living room, dining room, bathroom and kitchen. There was extensive mold in the basement and paper trash, cotton clothes and other combustibles near the furnace. Roaches and flies had infested the home. Both entrances to the basement and other rooms were blocked with clothes and trash. Insect remains were found in the family refrigerator.

The officer also noticed the home’s eight other children had open sores on their arms and legs caused by bug bites. The children were taken to a hospital, where a physician advised that they be removed from the home.

A Missouri Children’s Division worker had visited the home May 25. After the police visited the home Saturday, the worker made arrangements to have the children removed and placed with relatives.

Haney had three outstanding Independence arrest warrants and a $15,000 felony warrant for failing to appear in court for possession of a controlled substance from another agency. Police previously had responded to the residence on several unrelated service calls.

Authorities declared the residence unsafe to occupy.