A postal worker making a delivery encountered two children who were found to be living in disturbing conditions inside an Arkansas home.
Judy Arnold Alexander was driving down the road in Ash Flat, Arkansas, when she saw two young girl on the road. The older girl, who was around 4 years old, was wearing an old nightgown, while the 2-year-old girl was naked and covered in feces. Alexander stopped and got them out of the road.
Alexander took the girls and looked around for their parents before hearing faint sounds of music coming from a garage and finding their mother passed out in a chair.
“The postal worker stopped when she saw two small children playing in the road, and I am glad she did come along,” Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts told KAIT.
Counts and his deputies quickly responded, ultimately learning of the shocking conditions the girls were living in.
“The girls appeared not to have had a bath in several days and appeared to be covered in what looked like feces,” he said. “We used some baby wipes to clean them up before DHS could get there.”
Counts woke 29-year-old Heather Shelton, the girls’ mother, when he arrived at the scene. She told authorities she also had a baby inside the home.
“The little baby boy’s crib had a used diaper in there that appeared to be there for a while, maybe up to a week,” he said. “It was just a bad situation.”
Counts notified the Department of Human Services, which took the children into its care.
“When DHS showed up the kids didn’t want anything to do with her,” he said. “I think they have been having to fend for themselves for a while. I know when they took the kids off the mom didn’t show much emotion at all.”
Officers also found two bags of marijuana, two pipes and eight bottles of fingernail polish.
“The mom is more worried about getting high than taking care of her very beautiful children, and it is just sad,” Counts said.
Shelter was arrested on three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, one count of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of an instrument to commit a crime.
Some readers called for the mother to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
“I know it’s hard to believe but there was a lot of angels taken care of those babies the saddest part about this whole story is that she’s probably had them taken away before and they keep giving them back,” one reader commented on Facebook.
“I think this parent deserves more than just prison time,” another wrote. “She deserves worse, for what happened to those poor kids. I pray that they will go to a loving home.”
“OMG,” added another. “How terrible. Some people would give anything to have three beautiful children. I hope they are taken away from her forever. In my book she doesn’t deserve any more chances.”