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Minnesota woman charged with neglect, four children removed from filthy home

A Rosemount, Minn., woman with four special-needs children has been charged with neglect, accused of living with her sex-offender husband in a fly-infested home so filthy and cluttered that authorities branded it a fire trap.

A Rosemount, Minn., woman with four special-needs children has been charged with neglect, accused of living with her sex-offender husband in a fly-infested home so filthy and cluttered that authorities branded it a fire trap.

The children, ages 6 to 13, are now in foster care and no longer subjected to being sent to their rooms behind doors with deadbolts when they misbehaved, according to gross misdemeanor charges of child neglect filed last week against 38-year-old Ramona L. Murphy in Dakota County District Court.

According to the criminal complaint:

Police, with the assistance of members of the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, on Aug. 7 searched the Murphys’ home in the 3400 block of Lower 147th Street W.

An officer sat briefly with Murphy and the four children in the kitchen and "found it difficult to be in that location with the amount of bugs flying around."

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A county social worker was called and determined that the children would be placed in foster care, noting the unsanitary living conditions and Steven Murphy’s history as a sex offender, the complaint read.

His record includes convictions in 2004 for third-degree criminal sexual conduct and in 2002 for possessing child pornography.

Evidence of a fly infestation was evident throughout the house: Six long flytraps were filled with bugs. Flies blanketed the living room ceiling. Steven Murphy said an unkempt guinea pig cage may be attracting flies or possibly dead mice inside a wall.

The kitchen sink was up to the rim with dirty dishes, and food scraps were on floors all through the multilevel house.

The fire marshal responded the same day and noted 19 safety violations. He ranked the home among the most severe in terms of hoarding and clutter.

The oldest child, reeking of an unspecified odor, told authorities that Ramona Murphy would discipline him and the others by locking them in their bedroom until a timer she had set went off.

The complaint did not specify whether either Ramona or Steven Murphy are the parents of any of the children.

A telephone message was left Thursday with Ramona Murphy seeking her response to the allegations.

Related Topics: CRIME
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