Children living with an Eatonville-area couple are in protective custody after Pierce County sheriff’s deputies said they found them living in a home littered with garbage and maggots, and arrested the adults.
“No human beings should be living in these conditions, let alone children and infants,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said in a statement. “The stench was so thick it made our deputies nauseous.”
Danna Marie Pallas, 31, and Jason Bryan Slinker, 37, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the gross misdemeanor of reckless endangerment, domestic violence-related, in District Court.
Pallas was in jail in lieu of $45,000 bail, Slinker in lieu of $50,000.
Court records did not list attorneys for the couple.
Charging papers give this account:
After a 911 hang-up call Saturday night, sheriff’s deputies headed to the home near 324th Street East and 46th Avenue East.
They found Pallas in the driveway with a slightly swollen eye. She told them everything was OK, that she had not been hit and that her husband and children were inside.
Slinker was in the home with the children, ages 1, 2, and 9. The oldest was on a mattress with a sheet.
Smoke was coming into the living from from a fireplace, which was not covered. Deputies said popping embers could have set the mattress and other items ablaze.
The 2-year-old had a deep cough and wore only a dirty diaper. Pallas said the child had been coughing for a week or so, but she hadn’t taken him to a medical professional.
The deputies found rotten food, garbage, crawling maggots and used diapers in the home. They noted an overwhelming odor of trash and human waste and said debris blocked the door from fully opening.
Because of the conditions, investigators said they left the house several times to get fresh air.
Pallas told deputies she cleaned every day.
Deputies also noted syringe caps and a marijuana pipe on a shelf and a hatchet hanging a couple feet off the floor. There were extension cords around, including one with exposed wiring, and a hot electric skillet was on top of a plastic cooler.
Kitchen cabinets were almost empty except for some canned tomatoes and sauce, and the freezer and refrigerator had molding food. Bedrooms upstairs were unsanitary, deputies said, and there was no heat to the rooms.