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O.C. woman arrested for child neglect

July 8, 2009 5:20:49 AM PDT
A mother from Cypress has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect after two of her children were allegedly found living in deplorable conditions. Police say the 35-year-old's three girls were also frequently left alone in the house.Officers found the home was full of sewage, trash, and crawling with maggots.

"There were bugs and maggots crawling throughout the living corridors, trash knee-high throughout. You couldn't even see the floor," said Sgt. Tom Bruce from the Cypress Police Department.

Officers discovered the conditions after receiving an anonymous call reporting possible child abuse at the home. They said they found a 9-year-old and 11-year-old home alone. Their 15-year-old sister was allegedly staying a relative's house.

All three children are now in the custody of Child Protective Services. Their mother, Alison LeAnne Ebert, turned herself into authorities on Tuesday and now faces child neglect charges.

"She's lazy, she's addicted to meth, she's depressed, and that there basically is no excuse for the way she was living," Ebert told police, according to Bruce. "She also said that she was at a dude's home smoking weed, and that's why she was gone."

Ebert's parents, who live next door, would not comment on why they didn't intervene earlier.

Some neighbor's say they had no idea how bad the conditions were inside the home, but that there were some hints.

"The kids were always barefoot and not very clean and not very well dressed, but with a grandmother living next door you have to assume things are OK," said neighbor Mary Ward. "But it's just very say."

A code enforcement officer checked the home as workers hauled out bags of garbage from inside. For now the house is uninhabitable.

"Toilets overflowing with feces, bathtub overflowing with dark, black grimy water. It was terrible," said Bruce.

The Eberts' cats are also a concern. Some neighbors who have been feeding them hope they'll be rescued.

Ebert is expected to appear in court for a custody hearing on Friday.

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