Children removed from home; parents charged with neglect

- BY RUTH ANN KRAUSE Post-tribune correspond­ent

A Hammond couple has been charged with three counts of neglect of a dependent after police found deplorable living conditions in their home last month.

Police were called to a domestic dispute at their residence in the 4700 block of Oak Avenue about 3 a.m. Jan. 27. A visibly upset Jessica Bernice Donald, 33, told officers her boyfriend, Bernard Lanelle Leflore, had kicked her and locked himself in a room, the probable cause affidavit states. Donald had no visible signs of injury, according to court records.

Leflore told police he was trying to sleep because he had to be at work at a Chicago law firm in a few hours.

Police found two full open garbage bags in the kitchen with mice crawling inside, numerous dirty pots and pans on the stove and countertop­s, a mouse-infested kitchen with mouse feces covering the floor and countertop­s and a refrigerat­or with no edible food. Stagnant water stood in the sink, and there were no working lights in the living room and dining room.

The couple’s three children, ages 9, 8 and 5, were sleeping on a worn full-size mattress with the springs and inner lining exposed. Another bed was covered with toys and clothing, and the bedroom floor was covered in clothing.

caseworker with Child Protective Services removed the children from the home.

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