CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield woman has been accused of not caring for her young daughter.
Brittany Marie Sipe, 26, has been charged by Officer Eric D. Routch of the Lawrence Township police with one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of children.
Sipe waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. Her bail was set at $25,000 unsecured.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were dispatched to Lawrence Park Village for a report about a 7-year-old girl who appeared wasn’t being cared for and who wasn’t in school on the start date, Aug. 27.
A witness told police she fed the girl a bowl of cereal after she complained of being hungry. The girl was now outside with a neighbor and other kids who were playing. The witness asked the girl about her mother and she replied she was inside “sleeping.”
Officers were requested to meet with the witness who advised that this was an “ongoing problem.” Chief Douglas Clark and Routch met with the girl, plus three witnesses, including the caller who made the report.
She said the girl came up to them and stated she was hungry. She fed her a bowl of cereal and saw she’d been wearing the same clothes for a few days. She said it also appeared the girl hadn’t bathed in some time because her hair was matted.
The witness indicated this wasn’t the first incident and she’d previously spoken with Sgt. Crystal Panebianco. Routch said as he gathered information, he could tell the girl hadn’t been cared for; he said she neither had clean clothes, nor socks and shoes.
Clark went to the girl’s residence and knocked several times on the front door. However, he didn’t get an answer. The witness told Routch that she believed at least five people stayed there, but she didn’t know any of them.
Police requested for Clearfield County Children, Youth & Family Services to be summoned to the scene for the child. Afterward a male was observed leaving the residence and Routch asked to speak with him.
He indicated he’d left, there wasn’t anyone inside and he “just sleeps there.” He went on to say he was on his way to check on the girl because he helps “take care of her.” When asked by officers, he said he didn’t have a key for the apartment.
Clark went to the rear of the residence to try to contact someone inside. At that time, a CYS worker arrived on-scene and knocked on the door, which Clark opened. He located the girl’s mother, Sipe, for whom the department had warrants for in relation to “dangerous drugs.”
Clark took Sipe into custody and for arraignment. Routch went inside and reportedly saw the sink was full of dishes, bugs and used cigarettes were on the floor and dirty clothes were “everywhere.” He said it was difficult to walk through the residence because of the mess.
Routch requested the male to pack a bag for the girl who was being taken into CYS custody. It took the male approximately 30 minutes to find “relatively clean” clothes for her, according to the affidavit.
The CYS worker asked the girl where she slept and she said “back here,” but “Steven and Christina are sleeping right now.” When the worker knocked, a male opened. Inside the room, there were clothes and garbage on the bed with dirty clothes and blankets.
Routch instructed them to pack because they weren’t welcome at the residence. All were advised they weren’t any longer permitted on the property and if they returned, it would be trespassing.