A Meridian couple is in the Ada County Jail, facing two charges each of felony injury to a child, after police say they found two children locked in bedrooms of a filthy house.
It began when Meridian Police officers, a Meridian Fire Department crew and paramedics were dispatched to a house Thursday evening in the 500 block of West Welch Street to investigate a medical alarm activation.
“The officers found the home all locked up,” said Meridian Police Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea. Officers went to one of the windows and were able get the attention of a child who, following officers’ instructions, opened the window.
“The officers smelled the stench of urine and feces, and pulled the child out,” Basterrechea said.
The officers used force to gain entry to the house. “Once inside, they found the air conditioning had been turned off -– and it was about 90 to 100 degrees in the (children's) bedrooms,” Basterrechea stated.
He said officers found two children -– a 5-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy –- each locked in a separate bedrooms. “There was a filthy mattress in each bedroom. There was clutter throughout the house; it was in total disrepair,” he stated.
A woman in her eighties was also found in the house. “She was quite disoriented,” Basterrechea said. Details of her health condition were not immediately available.
Officers later made contact with the couple living in the house, identified at Laurin Dean Kinman, 48, and Gennifer Lea Kinman, 38.
“(The Kinmans) said they were out at a bar at the time,” Basterrechea said. When asked why the children were locked in bedrooms, the couple reportedly told investigators “That’s how (we) keep them in the house,” Basterrechea said.
The Kinmans were arrested without incident.
The elderly woman was not charged. Officers later discovered she had accidentally tripped a medical alarm.
The children are now in the custody of the Idaho Health and Welfare Department.