Williamsport, Pa. —After passing through several rooms in a home located on Maple Street, Williamsport Bureau of Police officers said they discovered an eight-month-old lying in the middle of a bed unattended, surrounded by trash.
Witnesses said as a woman left the home a young child could be heard saying, “the baby is still inside” to her. Both the woman and child then left in a car.
Danielle Dominique Johnson, 34, of Williamsport was charged with first-degree felony child endangerment and three counts of third-degree child endangerment after the discovery.
On July 14, near where officers said they responded to a call for shots fired earlier in the day, authorities said they discovered the infant and two juveniles, who approached authorities later in the night after allegedly walking around the neighborhood for hours by themselves.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., officers responded to a call for an infant child being left alone and discovered the front door to the residence open as they arrived. Police, who said they could hear an infant crying, announced themselves several times, eventually entering the residence due to the seriousness of the situation.
Officers Gino Caschera and Nikia Bonnell entered the residence and were immediately taken back by the strong odor of trash, rotting food, dirty diapers, and dirty clothing. Upon inspection, officers discovered overflowing trashcans, dead animals, a stained mattress, and several piles of dirty clothing as they went through the home.
Caschera said, “I was physically restraining myself from throwing up. The bathroom was infested with flies and the toilet was full of urine and feces.”
Once upstairs, officers said they discovered the location of Johnson’s bedroom and found the infant with a soiled diaper and large hernia protruding out of his shirt. On the bed, which officers said was two feet high, the infant was surround by soda cans with cigarette ashes and butts inside. Cashera said of the bed, “I believe that if the eight-month-old female had fallen off of this bed, she would have been severely injured, or even killed.”
Johnson came back to the home as Child and Youth Services and EMS arrived on scene. Officers said she asked if they were at her home. The juvenile with her immediately said, “Is it the baby?”
Johnson was taken into custody as authorities continued to investigate the home.
Two children approached the residence during the investigation and told officers they were Johnson’s daughters. Both juveniles did not have shoes on and told officers they had not had anything to eat in the day. It was approximately 11 p.m. when officers said they spoke with the two juveniles.
According to the report, the infant and both juveniles were taken into custody by authorities. No bail was listed for Johnson.