3 young Cottonwood siblings found living in 'flop-house' amid trash, broken glass, rotting food, feces

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(Source: Cottonwood Police Department) (Source: Cottonwood Police Department)
Sarah Easterday-Shortridge (Source: Cottonwood Police Department) Sarah Easterday-Shortridge (Source: Cottonwood Police Department)

A Cottonwood woman is facing child abuse, child endangerment and drug charges after her three children, all of whom are younger than 5, were found living in "deplorable conditions."

The Verde Valley Regional SWAT Team went to a home in the neighborhood northwest of Main Street and Mingus Avenue Saturday morning after a person with head injuries showed up at a local ER claiming to have been pistol-whipped by a man living there.

"Officers on scene described the abandoned residence as a 'flop-house' for drug users," according to Sgt. Monica Kuhlt of the Cottonwood Police Department.

Officers found drug paraphernalia in the home, including marijuana and methamphetamine pipes.

"The residence didn't have running water or working electricals, save for one outlet which multiple extension cords were attached," Kuhlt continued. "The home was noxiously pungent with trash, debris, broken glass, rotting food and feces found throughout."

And living amid all of that were Sarah Jean Easterday-Shortridge's three young children.

"The children were found to be suffering from rashes, bumps, lice, burns, open sores, scabies and were observed to be covered in feces," according to Kuhlt.

The children were taken to Verde Valley Medical Center so doctors could take a look at them. Their conditions were not immediately available but police said the Department of Child Safety has removed them from Easterday-Shortridge’s custody.

Police say Easterday-Shortridge, 32, is a transient.

It's not clear whether DCS has had previous contact with the family.

The Cottonwood Police Department said the investigation into the initial incident that sent SWAT to that house over the weekend is complete and has been sent to the Yavapai County Attorney's Office.

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