STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) — Recently obtained body camera video captured three young children barricaded inside an Ohio home strewn with trash.
Their 24-year-old mother, Priscilla Destouet, is facing child endangerment charges. She was previously arrested in February 2021 on the same charges.
On Jan. 20, police conducted a welfare check at an apartment in Struthers, Ohio, after the three boys — ages 7, 6 and 3 — did not show up for school.
In the video obtained by WKBN, officers arrived at the home to find the front door deadbolted and a back entrance blocked by a washing machine. Police could see the children through a bedroom window.
According to police reports, officers called Mahoning County Children Services.
“We have three young males locked in a bedroom. No mother. Nobody’s home,” a Struthers police officer said in the video.
Police ultimately needed to use a battering ram to get into the home, where they found the boys inside a locked bedroom.
“Hi, guys. Who got you locked in here? [Kids scream.] Yeah, it’s us again,” an officer says.
Using their cameras, officers recorded garbage, including dirty diapers, and clothing strewn all over the place, empty food boxes and very little in either the freezer or refrigerator. Also, according to police reports, a foul stench wafted out of the house, and inside, there were insects flying around.
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The boys were clothed only in their underwear, with the youngest wearing only a diaper. Police said they were also hungry.
“Your mom didn’t feed you before she left? No? When’s the last time you ate?” an officer asks.
Reports said Destouet was cleaning a restroom in City Hall as part of a community service sentence for her prior arrest in February 2021 when she ran out of the building. She was found in her car and taken into custody there.
In the February 2021 case, police found Destouet’s three children alone in another home that reports said was in “deplorable condition.”
Having dealt with Destouet before, police say the situation is frustrating
“It’s difficult for the officers because we have very limited resources, as do most of the departments,” said Struthers Police Chief Tim Roddy.
Destouet was booked without bond into the Mahoning County Jail on three first-degree misdemeanor charges of endangering children. Her boys are in the care of Children Services.