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Wisconsin woman accused of raising kids in squalor

  • Associated Press
  • March 4, 2014 - 4:40 PM

TOWN OF BURNETT, Wis. — Prosecutors charged a Dodge County woman with neglect and placed her two young children in foster care for allegedly maintaining a squalid home that endangered their well-being.

Secoy Koch-Miller, 25, lived in the Town of Burnett home with her newborn, her 2-year-old son and her mother, according to the criminal complaint. Medical reports say the toddler was underweight, covered with bug bites, and had a bruised eye and spiders in his hair, Action Reporter Media reported (http://fondul.ac/1gOHOQq ). The complaint says the baby had a respiratory illness, but otherwise seemed to be OK.

Sheriff's deputies and human services workers who toured the home on Nov. 21 found animal feces and urine, rotting food, maggots in the refrigerator and clogged toilets in the home, the complaint said.

Town of Burnett Supervisor Gerry Beier said the house is currently vacant.

"We've given Betty Koch-Miller until spring to remove personal items from her home and then we will start the condemnation process," said Beier, who toured the home with sheriff's deputies. "The inside of that house was beyond belief. It's not fit for human habitation."

Authorities were alerted to concerns about the children's welfare and the home's conditions by the baby's father, who is incarcerated, according to court documents. He told a Dodge County sheriff's detective the house had no hot running water and the septic tank was too full to flush the toilet. He told authorities the toddler was confined to a play pen because the home was filled with clutter.

Dodge County Human Services representatives decided to remove the children from the home and place them in foster care. The 2-year-old has since gained weight after being placed in a foster home, according to medical reports.

A township official was contacted to remove a dog and cat from the residence.

Koch-Miller was charged with neglecting a child causing bodily harm, a felony, and neglecting a child, a misdemeanor. An initial court appearance was scheduled March 10.

A defense attorney was not listed in court records.

© 2014 Star Tribune