PD: Children living in bug-infested motel room

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by Mike Gertzman

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 1 at 7:57 AM

Map: Miles Motel

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MESA, Ariz. -- Police arrested the parents of three children on child abuse charges after the family was discovered living in a bug-infested motel.

The arrests were on Monday at the Miles Motel on Main Street near Recker Road.

An officer was sent to check out the situation after police received a report from an anonymous person about the deplorable living conditions.

Shawn Russell Fredenburg and Kari An Fredenburg, both 43, told police they were aware of the situation and felt it was "okay."

"We've never hurt our kids, ever. Part of it's this place," Kari Fredenburg told 3TV. "We don't do drugs. We don't do anything." She said the family has financial problems.

3TV also talked to one of the managers of the Miles Motel. She did not want to give her name or show her face. "Trust me. If management would have known that their house was in that condition they would have been kicked out a long time ago."

In court documents obtained by 3TV on Wednesday the officer described a filthy room. The officer reported seeing rotting food on the floor, kitchen counters, on top of the stove, and inside the refrigerator.

The officer also observed cockroaches and maggots on the ceiling, counters and floors and cockroaches in the refrigerator, which was barely working.

The kitchen sink was filled with dirty water and dirty dishes.

The toilet in the only bathroom had not been flushed. The shower was black with dirt and mold. The bathroom sink was lined with mold and rust along the faucets.

There were several mattresses leaning against the wall in the only bedroom. The mattresses were shredded exposing the metal wire frames.

Dog and cat feces and urine were smeared throughout the bedroom floor.

"The officers indicated that along with just the overwhelming smell of it there was urine stained carpeting, feces everywhere, cockroaches, maggots," explained Sgt. Tony Landato with the Mesa Police Dept.

The oldest child told the officer that he slept on three cushions on the floor of the bedroom. He told the officer that his 10-year-old brother and 13-year-old sister slept with their mother and father on a mattress on the living room floor.

The children appeared sick and underweight according to the police report. They were examined by paramedics and taken into custody by Child Protective Services.

"I just want everybody to know we love our kids. We never hurt them," said Kari Fredenburg.

The property manager said the Fredenburg family has lived in that room for four years and the conditions there are not reflective of the rest of the motel.

"Don't put it off as the hotel is bug infested when in reality four years ago there was no bugs in that room," explained the motel manager.

The parents are facing three counts each of felony child abuse.

 

 

 

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