CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield woman has been accused of neglecting her four children.
Kayla Sue Wallace, 26, has been charged by Sgt. Daniel Podliski of the Clearfield Borough police with four felony counts of endangering the welfare of children.
Wallace waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. Bail has been set at $1,000 unsecured.
The charges stem from a welfare check that occurred at 12:43 p.m. Aug. 4 at a residence in the 300 block of Turnpike Avenue, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
A witness said Wallace’s three-year-old girl was running around inside the residence without any parental supervision, and that this happens all the time.
Podliski arrived on-scene with Officer Austin Miller. Podliski attempted to make contact with Wallace; however, she didn’t answer her door.
When Miller spoke with the witness, she said the girl had been running around since about 6:30 a.m., and she heard her say, “mommy, wake up.”
The witness said she hadn’t heard Wallace, who normally yells at her children to stop. Podliski reportedly continued to knock loudly on Wallace’s door for about 15 minutes, but she didn’t answer.
Podliski requested for Clearfield County’s Children, Youth and Family Services Department to call him in an effort to obtain contact information for Wallace.
Approximately five minutes later, he said Wallace answered her door and appeared as though she’d just woken up. She was advised of the complaint and permitted officers to come inside.
Inside the residence, Podliski said he observed cat food and a powdery substance on the floor, as well as numerous clothing items and garbage scattered about.
As he walked upstairs, he reportedly detected the odor of garbage, feces and or rotting food. He said clothing and garbage were also on the steps, which made them hazardous.
In the stairway, Podliski observed what appeared to be peanut butter on the wall. At the top of the steps, there was a baby gate and an animal cage.
Feces covered the bottom of the cage, which Wallace said was for their rabbit. Because it wasn’t inside its cage, she was asked about the animal, which she believed was under her bed.
From the steps, Podliski observed food, garbage and clothing scattered about the floor in the kitchen and a bottle of Drano on the table. The garbage can was also completely full.
Podliski asked Wallace to bring her four children from their bedroom. When he entered the kitchen area, he observed a chair against the cabinets.
He said it appeared as though a child had used the chair to climb up. In the cabinet immediately above this area of the counter, he allegedly found two prescription bottles.
On the stovetop, Podliski observed numerous dishes with old food on them. In the bathroom, the sink was overflowing with liquid, according to the affidavit.
Because Wallace returned without her children, Podliski requested permission to speak with them. When he requested the children to come out of their bedroom, he heard one say they were naked.
He requested the children to dress and a few minutes later the door opened. Inside he saw three of Wallace’s four children, and two weren’t dressed and the other was in a diaper.
The child’s diaper was reportedly soiled to the point that it sagged past the child’s knees. Podliski said the children appeared dirty and as though they hadn’t been bathed in a few days.
Podliski found a fourth child asleep on the living room floor, where he said there was a powdery substance spilled all over. This substance was on the child’s legs, shirt and face.
Podliski said the living room was in complete disarray. He said the couch cushions were on the floor, and that garbage, food and clothing were also scattered about the room.
Miller photographed the conditions of the residence, and Podliski directed Wallace to change her child’s diaper and to dress her other two children.
While the children were in the hallway waiting to be dressed, Podliski reportedly observed that the child wearing a diaper also had a severe rash on their inner thighs.
Podliski contacted the children’s father and requested that he come to take custody of the children. Because he was unable to at the time, he had his parents come to the residence.
While standing outside with the children, Podliski said a Cen-Clear caseworker asked the children if they had eaten yet. The oldest child said they had pancakes, which they cooked in the toaster.
In the affidavit, Podliski wrote he believed that this was likely the reason the chair was pushed up against the cabinets in the kitchen.
Based upon observations and collected statements, Podliski said it was apparent Wallace had “neglected to meet the basic needs” of her children for a significant period of time.