7 children removed from filthy home in Southwest Detroit

Police say children seemed glad to see them

DETROIT – Seven children were removed Tuesday from a filthy home on Detroit's Southwest side and taken to Children's Hospital.

The youngest child is 11 months old and the oldest child is 7 years old.

When police stormed into the house on Livernois Avenue, they said they could tell by looking at the children and the house that the brother and sisters needed to see a doctor.

The rundown house with broken windows and no gas is where Detroit police found the family of nine.

"There were no utilities, no food, no water," Detroit police Lt. Johnathan Parnell said. "The conditions were unlivable."

Seven children lived in the home, which had no beds, no working toilets and feces throughout. There was even a dead dog.

"Unfortunately, in my 28 years of law enforcement, it's the worst I've ever seen," Parnell said.

The narcotics division went to the home to serve a warrant, which uncovered something bigger than drugs.

"At that point, our focus shifted from a narcotic investigation to a child welfare investigation," Parnell said.

Local 4 cameras were rolling when emergency medical services carried the children out of the house. They were wrapped in blankets and then examined in the ambulance.

"They appeared to be glad to see us," Parnell said.

Police said the children's mother didn't realize she needed help.

"I don't know how she didn't," a neighbor said. "It's crazy."

Neighbors said they had no idea anyone lived at the home.

"I'm glad they showed up and helped the kids," a neighbor said. "If not, who knows what would have happened to them."

"This isn't about breaking up the family," Parnell said. "This is about trying to get them the help that's needed."

It's unclear how long the children suffered in the filthy conditions, but police said they are safe now.

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