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Man charged with child neglect

BY Sara Barker - sbarker@chronicle-tribune.com

A man has as felony charge after police found his young children living amongst trash and bugs.

Lucino Barends, 28, was being held the Grant County Jail on a $605 bond Friday on a level six felony charge of neglect.

A neighbor called the Marion Police Department at 9:15 p.m. Friday after they saw a three-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy playing in the road and could not wake up Barends, who was passed out in his home, according to a police report.

According to neighbors, this was not the first time the children playing in the road had been a problem.

When the Officer Joshua Swanson arrived, Barends had put his children in a stroller and was walking them inside his house at 817 E. 30th St. The officer met the father at the back door, and while talking to him, saw the conditions of the inside of the house.

From standing in the doorway, the officer could smell trash and mold inside the house. Upon inspection, the officer discovered the house had no power or running water. The only edible food that was found was a loaf of bread and a few cans of beans.

The home had only one mattress and a heavily soiled carpet. In the police report, Swanson said there were so many bugs crawling on the floor he was unsure where to step.

Swanson arrested Barends and called the Department of Child Services for immediate pickup of the children. They were taken to Marion General Hospital for treatment.

The three-year-old girl was so dehydrated that she had to drink two bottles of Pedialyte and four bottles of juice before she could produce a urine sample.

Though Captain Amber Richards said she was not present at the time of the arrest, she said conditions were terrible.

“For us to make an immediate arrest for something like this, the conditions had to be pretty deplorable,” Richards said.

There were no illegal substances or weapons found at the scene, according to the police report.

As of 3 a.m. Saturday, MPD had not yet found the mother of the children, who police say lived at the home.

MPD was still waiting to receive the results of blood tests from the children as of Saturday afternoon.