Woman allegedly had kids in filthy house

Jan. 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A South Florida woman was arrested for child neglect after police said they found her three sons in a filthy house with almost no food.

Madeline Harrigan, 40, of Loxahatchee was being held in Palm Beach County in lieu of $9,000 bail, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. Officials said the boys, a 14-year-old and 10-year-old twins, are now with her estranged husband.

An investigator from the Florida Department of Children and Families called the sheriff's office Monday night when Harrigan refused to admit her to the house. Deputies said the house was dirty with floors covered with feces and urine and almost no furniture.

The refrigerator held only juice and a rotten melon. The boys were barefoot with dirty feet.

The investigator originally went to the house because the 14-year-old had not been enrolled in school and the twins had been absent for most of the year.

Harrigan and her husband, Steve, had been separated for almost 10 years, police said.

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