Oct 8, 2013

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DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver couple has been arrested after their four children were found living in filth.

Wayne Sperling, 66, and Lorinda Bailey, 36, are facing charges of felony child abuse. Prosecutors say the children, ages 2, 4, 5 and 6, were found in an apartment. They say the children were malnourished and surrounded by feces.

The children could not speak and a medical report later showed they were also not toilet trained.

Officers say the smell coming out of the couple’s apartment was unbearable. They got involved when one of the children was taken to the hospital for a cut and the doctor noticed the child needed a bath.

“The hallway was as dirty probably as the inside of their house,” said Richard Lucero, whose brother lives in the building.

According to an arrest report, officers found “one to two inches of cat feces both old and new under the children’s bunk bed.” The wood floor was also “soaked with cat urine.” It also states the floors of the apartment were littered with “dead flies” and the flies that were alive covered every surface.

“I noticed they used to leave the window open and the kids were always looking out the shades,” Lucero said.

Sperling and Bailey are being held on 5,000 bond and are scheduled for court on Thursday. The children are in protective care.

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DENVER (9News.com) - Police have charged the mother and father of four children under the age of 6 with felony child abuse, after an ER doctor reported a 2-year-old brought in with a cut on the head was unwashed, non-verbal and smelled of cigarette smoke, according to an affidavit obtained by 9Wants to Know.

Wayne Sperling, 66, and Lorinda Bailey, 35, both of Denver, face multiple counts of felony child abuse. Both had previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse in 2009.

The arrest affidavit for the couple describes the home where the children, ages 2, 4, 5 and 6 years old, as having an "overwhelming" smell of cat urine and feces. Investigators say they found 1-2 inches of cat feces under the bunk bed where the children slept and described the stench inside the apartment as "unbearable."

The father admitted to police investigators there were 6 or 7 cats living in the apartment and reacted to questions about the feces by saying, "looks like human but it's the cats," according to the affidavit. Court records go on to say the home was "littered with dead flies, some of which were still twitching."

The children themselves were described as developmentally delayed. Doctors at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital described the children as "non-verbal" and said none of them were toilet-trained. One officer described how the children were "making infant like noises to each other." He wrote he couldn't determine any age or developmental difference between the three older children.

Sperling told investigators he is the primary caregiver and was "applying to home school" the 6-year-old. Court records also say Sperling told investigators the children have "their own language" and that they "grunt at each other" but are able to "speak to him and Bailey." All of the children were examined after they were taken into custody and were found to be "non-verbal and malnourished."

The couple remains in custody on bonds of $5,000 each. They are scheduled to appear in Denver County courtroom on Tuesday to be formally advised of the charges.