ANADARKO, Okla. – Eight adults are now in custody, and 10 children are in the care of another family member after 18 people were all discovered living under one roof in filthy conditions.
Police were alerted to the situation when a two-year-old child was brought into the emergency room with a burn on its lower back.
The explanation for the burn didn’t make sense and DHS called police to help investigate the home.
Anadarko police went to the home on Country Club Drive early Tuesday morning.
“This is three in the morning, a small child answered the door,” said Anadarko Police Chief Tracy Roles.
They asked for an adult and the child’s grandmother, Karen Bohay, eventually came to the door.
“She appeared to be intoxicated. She was later transported to the hospital to be treated for her intoxication,” Roles said. Family members told police she had been drinking and abusing prescription pills.
Officers went inside the home and discovered there were 10 children living there, ranging from two to three months old to 12 years old.
They also discovered the horrific environment they were living in.
The chief described overflowing bags of garbage, piles of clothing, mud and what appeared to be feces, dirty dishes, old food, drug paraphernalia found strewn around the house.
The officers also smelled burnt marijuana and found small marijuana plants growing in the home.
“If we choose to live in filth, that’s one thing,” Roles said, “but kids, they don’t have a choice.”
While the police were there, the other seven adults who lived there, Russell Bohay, Douglas Bohay, Jacob Bohay, Stephanie Bohay, Georgia Harris, Jessie Bohay, and Billyjack Anderson, all showed up.
They admitted to police they knew there was drug paraphernalia and knew marijuana had been smoked in the presence of the children.
All eight were arrested and their recommended charges include child neglect, child endangerment, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and cultivation of marijuana.
The 10 children were taken by DHS and left in the custody of “a responsible family member,” according to police.
It’s been a frustrating situation for police.
“The disturbing part to me is, we have this stuff going on and there’s no real way for us to be proactive and figure it out before they have to live in this situation for so long,” Chief Roles said.
He said he’s going to challenge his officers to be proactive in detecting this kind of situation so that they can take action sooner.