A St. Paul couple kept their young children in such squalid conditions that their 4- and 2-year-olds wandered alone to a store to find food, according to charges filed Wednesday.

“Both children were very dirty and one had a full diaper and shoes on the wrong feet,” according to the charges.

The children’s father was later found passed out in the home, the couple’s infant lying on his arm, charges say.

Darrell C. Demarrias, 30, was arrested and charged in Ramsey County District Court with child endangerment and neglect. Lydia L. Godfrey, 28, was charged via warrant with child neglect. She’s not in custody.

According to the complaints: An employee at the SuperAmerica on Payne Avenue called police about 8:30 p.m. Monday when the toddlers came to the convenience store for food. They didn’t have any money. The boy told police that his mother had left, that his dad was home drunk and that they were hungry.

The boy led police to the family’s home in the 600 block of Maryland Avenue E., where officers found Demarrias lying on a mattress on the floor, smelling of alcohol. His 11-month-old was with him. He failed to respond to loud verbal commands, and woke only when police shined flashlights on his face. The electricity in the home was shut off, it smelled of urine and feces, the refrigerator contained spoiled food, beer cans littered the sink and the toilet was piled with unflushed feces.

When asked the names and birth dates of his children, he slurred, “Tomorrow,” and, “I’m sure they are sleeping.”

He allegedly thought the infant was with Godfrey’s sisters — not with him at home.

CHAO XIONG