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Kingsport couple facing child abuse and neglect charges

By Laura Halm
Published On: Apr 10 2013 09:17:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 10 2013 04:43:39 PM CDT
UNSANITARY CONDITIONS
KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

A Kingsport couple is arrested and facing child abuse and neglect charges after police say they found unsanitary conditions, like roaches and animal feces, throughout the home.

We picked up a copy of a police report and learned officers were initially dispatched about a disturbance around 10:30 Tuesday night. It turned out to be nothing, but what they found inside the home called police to action.

It's what police say they found inside this home on Tranbarger Drive that sent two parents to jail and a little boy from his home.

"I can't describe it in words. The smell was just over the top," said Officer Matthew Stewart with the Kingsport Police Department.

Robert Fortin and his wife Crystal Fortin are both facing child abuse and neglect charges.

Officer Stewart says it's one of the worst homes he's seen, he showed us pictures of what he says are bugs and roaches all over the family's kitchen sink, floor, and tables.

"[There was] dog urine and feces all over the house, there was food on the floor and pots and pans with food in it, bugs everywhere. It was a mess," added Officer Stewart.

There was only one child living in the home and his age is not being released. Officer Stewart says he took action because these conditions could affect the little boy's health, "The little boy had cotton and paper stuffed into his ears. We asked him why he had that and he said, 'That it keeps the bugs out.'"

News 5 went by the home to see if either parent wanted to talk, but no one answered the door.

Police say the little boy is with a family member. For now, a Code Enforcement Officer will be inspecting the home to make sure it's clean to return.

Both Robert and Crystal Fortin are currently in the Sullivan County Jail. Officer Stewart says their charges are misdemeanors and it will be left up to a judge and the Department of Children's Services on when the little boy can return home.