If the mug shots of thirty-five-year-old Lorinda Baley and her husband, 66-year-old Wayne Sperling, look familiar to you, you may remember the fact that this Denver duo were arrested in June 2009 for misdemeanor child abuse.
The Denver parents have once again been arrested, as officials discovered deplorable living conditions in the small apartment in which the couple were raising four young boys, reports The Associated Press via ABC News on Oct. 8.
Baley and Sperling stand accused of starving their four children, ages two to six, and keeping them in a filthy apartment littered with "inches" of cat feces, urine and flies. Investigators found beds soaked with cat and human urine, cigarette butts and over “500 live flies” feasting on filth strewn about the apartment.
Felony abuse charges were leveled against the parents of the boys. The AP report say all four children “have been placed in protective care and have undergone hospital exams that found they are malnourished, not toilet trained and can only communicate in grunts.”
Denver police Officer N. Rocco-McKeel accompanied the case worker to the apartment at her request and said pungent odors permeated the home. Rooms where “flies covered every surface” were practically uninhabitable. Rocco-McKeel also said they smelled a “strong odor of a decomposing animal” but could not locate a body under all of the refuse.
ABC News affiliate WSET picks up the story as to how the investigation began:
“The current charges against the parents come after an investigation that began Sept. 29 when Bailey took her youngest son to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital for a cut on his forehead that she said happened after a fall… An emergency room doctor informed authorities that the child was unwashed and smelled like cigarette smoke, prompting a welfare check by a Denver Human Services case worker. Bruising behind the child's right ear appeared consistent with pinching, the doctor said.”
The children, ages 2, 4, 5 and 6, were all in diapers. None of them were toilet trained, none could talk and none of them were enrolled in school. There were no developmental differences between any of the four boys.
Baley said she did not think the apartment was unsafe, yet she had been living in a separate unit apart from her family for a number of months. The unemployed father meanwhile told officials that he had planned to home school his boys.
Police had been called several times to the residence since 2006, resulting in a 2009 conviction of misdemeanor child abuse of seven children. Baley and Sperling were placed on probation and made to take parenting classes, which obviously had no impact. All seven kids at the time were placed with a child services agency.
It’s unclear how many children the couple have, but the additional four boys were placed in protective care. Baley was freed on bond but declined comment. Sperling remains jailed.