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Authorities in Cleveland, Texas, were called to the home of Mable Jo Larsen, 32, and Aaron Michael Parker on a complaint about possible animal abuse. They arrived at the property the night of August 7, 2012, looking for neglected horses and animals, which they found. “Deputies did arrive and found several emaciated horses, dogs, cats and even a deceased horse, and we are yet to determine how many other deceased animals are on the property. It does appear there are some,” according to Liberty County Sheriff’s Captain Rex Evans. Deputies found the couple’s mobile home to be squalid and filled with rubble. The stench was reportedly so bad investigators had to wear masks and a special breathing apparatus when they searched the home. Amidst the filth they found a child, 1, that was infested with fleas and ticks, and covered with cockroaches. The baby’s blankets were in a cage in which police believe the couple kept it. The child was removed from the residence and examined by EMS. Later the unnamed baby was taken into custody by child protective services, who had no idea there was a child on the property. The child is expected to be OK.
On August 9 Larsen was arrested on an animal abuse charge, while Parker was found to be in violation of his probation and was taken into custody August 10. It turns out that the couple had a history with child protective services. Parker’s daughter, 10, had been removed from the home in 2010 when she was found tied to a weight bench with zip ties, soiled, beaten and starved. A month later they were arrested and accused of abusing and starving four other children, who were also removed from the home. in 2011 Larsen and Parker pleaded guilty to injury to a child, and were sentenced to three years of probation. Larsen violated her probation in January when she was arrested for DUI, and again in April when she failed to perform community service. Parker tested positive for methamphetamine on July 5, and failed to appear for an administrative hearing on July 24. In 2011 authorities in Texas terminated both Parker and Larsen’s rights to all their children. Both Larsen and Parker claim to be the baby’s parents. Both police and child protective services are investigating the situation as they continue to sort through the rubble.