(CBS/AP) NORTH PLATTE, Neb. - A Nebraska mother and her three roommates were charged with felony child abuse after authorities discovered her two young boys inside a wire dog kennel in their filthy trailer home, police said Tuesday.
After receiving a call from someone asking that police check on the welfare of the children there, North Platte officers went to the home, said Lt. Rich Hoaglund. Inside, officers were met with the stench of urine, and found the home strewn with trash and animal feces.
An officer soon found two boys, ages 3 and 5, in a 30-by-42-inch wire dog kennel.
"They had a small child's mattress in there, and that's where both kids were sleeping," Hoaglund said. "The gate on that door was wired shut."
The children's mother, 22-year-old Ashly Clark, told officers she put her boys in the kennel at night to keep them from climbing out of the trailer through a window, Hoaglund said.
A couple - 25-year-old Bryson Eyten and 24-year-old Samantha Eyten - also lived in the trailer with their 8-year-old and 8-month-old children. Hoaglund said those children were not kept in the kennel. The children have all been placed with state authorities.
Hoaglund said that while the children were living in filthy conditions, there was no evidence to suggest they had been physically abused or were malnourished.
Clark, the Eytens and 20-year-old Lacy Beyer, who police said also lived in the trailer, were arrested Monday night and charged Tuesday with two counts of first-degree false imprisonment, two counts of felony child abuse and misdemeanor child abuse, based on the condition of the house.
"All of the adults were aware of the situation and were aware of the kids were being housed in the animal kennel and did nothing to stop it or report it," he said.
All four made initial appearances in court Tuesday afternoon, and bail was set at $50,000 for each. Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling said each of the four asked for a public defender during the court hearing Tuesday.
"They were ordered to have no contact with the four children taken into custody," Harling said.