EL MIRAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A mother and daughter from El Mirage face child abuse charges after police say they found three children living in a filthy, feces-filled home.

Police say 52-year-old Carmen Sanfie and her daughter, 35-year-old Connie Marie Valencia, each face three counts of child abuse.

[WATCH: Neighbor shocked mother and daughter arrested after kids found in filth in El Mirage]

On Oct. 30, El Mirage police were called to the women's home near Wadell and Dysart roads about a possible domestic violence incident.

When officers arrived at the home, they reported that they found it filled with feces and infested with bugs. According to court paperwork, officers reported being met with "a pungent odor of animal urine and fecal matter" as they entered the home.

"I've never been in the house, so I can't tell you what the inside of the house looks like," said neighbor Patrice Duplessis. "They seem like very nice people, I like them actually. I'll be honest, she [Valencia] seems like an excellent mother."

Officers said they saw "smeared fecal matter on the tile floor, piles of animal feces in the corners of the stairway and floor of the entryway. Additional piles of animal feces were observed at the top of the stairway." 

The home was also reportedly infested with hundreds of cockroaches and other insects crawling on the floor, walls, and ceiling. The court paperwork noted that one officer said that "the carpet was crunchy under my feet."

"As far as the conditions on the inside of the house, what was going on, I'm really surprised. But I just hope they're able to fix whatever needs to be fixed and work everything out," Duplessis said. 

Police say they found three girls, ages 7, 11, and 14, walking barefoot on the feces-cover floor. Five cats and two dogs also reportedly lived in the house.

According to court documents, Sanfie and Valencia said the roaches had been a problem for the past three years, and that they were trying to get rid of the cats.

The documents state that Valencia told police "she believed the conditions were not good and said she shared the responsibility with her mother for letting the house be in unhealthy conditions." The documents also stated that Sanfie said "they were planning to clean the house this weekend."

Arizona Department of Child Safety workers interviewed the three young girls. The children said "no one ever cleans inside the house" and that "the dogs go poop outside but the cats go to the bathroom all throughout the house."

Valencia and Sanfie were arrested and booked into jail. They've been released on their own recognizance on "supervised release." Both mother and daughter are due to appear in court on Nov. 14 for a status conference and Nov. 20 for a preliminary hearing.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety has taken emergency custody of the children.

 


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