POWNAL, Vt. (NEWS10) – Vermont State Police arrested two people for cruelty to a child on Sunday after finding a child in uninhabitable conditions.
Officials said the caller claimed there was drug paraphernalia in the residence, animal waste on the floor, and the child living in the trailer received a burn from a kerosene stove, which was not treated.
“That kid is the world to me,” Susee told NEWS10 ABC. “I told the police last night, ‘Sir, you are not going to take my kid from me unless you put me in a body bag first.’”
Susee said he loves a little boy that is not biologically his own. Mattison is the child’s mother.
“I’ve been with her since she was seven months pregnant,” he said. “We might not be blood, but it doesn’t make me feel any different towards him.”
But in this case, police said that’s not good enough.
Troopers conducted a welfare check on the child, and found a 2-year-old boy living in filth. Officials said the child was barefoot and standing in what looked like to be animal waste.
Police said the trailer was filled with animal waste, trash, children’s toys and garbage. Part of the household was not even accessible due to the garbage.
Officials said it appeared as though the child had not been bathed in a while, and he smelled of stale urine.
“It’s not something that could be followed up on later,” VSP Sgt. Jesse Robson said. “It needed immediate attention. In a situation like that, the troopers contacted a judge from the scene by phone, explained the situation, and requested that we be able to provide a safe place for that child under an immediate need.”
Susee invited NEWS10 ABC into the trailer. Clothes could be seen on the floor, a broken toilet was clogged by toilet paper, and cigarette butts were found in the home.
There was running water coming out of a rusted pipe without a nozzle.
“Last night, I went to get the dogs after they got arrested to bring them to TJ’s house, and it was disgusting in there,” neighbor Nicole Perkins said. “There was garbage all over the floor. Dog poop, dog pee all over the floor.”
“They are very difficult cases,” Robson said. “The motivation to put a thorough case together; to hold those parties accountable is there.”
Both Susee and Mattison were arrested and charged with Cruelty to a Child. They were released into their own care without bail and have future court dates pending.