Mom of abandoned kids admits using meth, is pregnant

Authorities found three children Saturday inside a home in Lake Stevens. Today their parents appeared in court. Elisa Hahn reports.

LAKE STEVENS, Wash. -- Parents of three young children found abandoned and locked inside a Lake Stevens home are each being held on $100,000 bail.

Amanda Foley, 32, and Mark Dorson, also 32, appeared in court on Wednesday. Foley admitted using meth and said she is pregnant.

Foley broke down when a judge told her to have no contact with her kids.

"She should be crying. She should feel bad," said Becky Hensley. Hensley is the stepmother of Foley's oldest daughter, who was fortunate enough not to live in the same home with her siblings.

"How can you be a parent and treat your kids that way, and call your daughter once every three months. I have five kids; they're my life," Hensley said.

The children, ages seven, three and 11 months, were found in the home Saturday, surrounded by garbage.

According to court documents, when police entered the home they were overwhelmed by "the strong smell of ammonia." The kids were living among "animal feces and human excrement."

The 11-month-old baby had a "temperature of 94.1 degrees and was hypothermic and dehydrated" and he was in "the 2% range for his body weight."

Police say it's not known how long the children were left unattended, but the parents had to be tracked down by investigators.

The children were taken to the hospital to be examined. One of them was treated for hypothermia and dehydration. All three were transferred to the custody of Child Protective Services.

Police say preliminary investigations indicate a history of CPS complaints at the residence.

"The kids weren't being fed," said Shellie Cooper, who said she called CPS 18 months ago. "The kids were being locked in their rooms."

Cooper says she contacted CPS after her son, who is friends with Dorson, witnessed the conditions while he was at the house.

Cooper isn't the only one to claim to have called CPS. The Lake Stevens School District also noticed when the oldest daughter came to school smelling so badly that the staff offered her a change of clothes.

"Ongoing concerns about her health and well-being, her attendance, her hygiene," said Jayme Taylor, director of communications for the Lake Stevens School District. "So they made three official reports to Child Protective Services since October of 2014.

So why didn't the state step in? In a written statement released Wednesday night, CPS will only confirm the kids are now in the state's custody. The agency says privacy laws prevent them from commenting any further.


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