ENID, Okla. — An old couch, trash bags and several flies cover the ground outside an Enid home where five children once were forced to live.
Now, their mother is sitting behind bars, accused of neglect.
It all started with an anonymous tip that led police and DHS workers to this home.
“I stepped out of the car and I could immediately smell kind of an odor coming from the house,” said Officer Thomas Rhyne, with the Enid Police Department.
It’s an odor that alarmed other residents in the neighborhood, but they could not pinpoint the origin.
“The smell, I don’t know if it’s coming from the house or somewhere around there,” said April Dehart.
Once officers got inside the home, they say they found five children under the age of 18 living in deplorable conditions.
According to the affidavit, the children were forced to live in a home filled with trash and feces. Officers also noted that bugs could be seen crawling on them.
“He was sitting there and he had a fly or a roach or something, some sort of animal crawling on his forehead; and he was just sitting there staring at me,” Rhyne said.
It’s something that neighbors were shocked to learn.
“We would walk by in the evening time and there was a lot of cats outside, trash,” Dehart said.
Neighbors like Dehart admit the smell seemed suspicious but said the children always looked healthy.
“They would be playing outside; they didn’t look dirty or anything. They looked like they were well fed,” Dehart said.
The children’s mother, Cynthia Morgan, was taken into custody on one count of child neglect.
However, this isn’t Morgan’s first run in with police and DHS.
Last year, one of Morgan’s children sneaked out of the house and was caught roaming the back alley alone. Once officers located Morgan, they went inside the home and noticed the same conditions.
In 2016, Morgan told officers that she was sick and couldn’t keep up with the house. This time, she told police it was because of a new job.
“Us and DHS are very grateful that this tip came in and we were able to go in and help these kids,” said Rhyne.
Following the investigation, Morgan turned herself into police Friday to face the charges.