A Missouri mother is facing child abuse charges after police said she left a loaded rifle in her toddler's crib and forced other children to live in a feces-covered home.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, residents in St. Peters contacted police after noticing Cheryl Darlene Dudley's 22-month-old daughter tied to her garage with a rope.
Police responded to the scene on Monday and found narcotics in a dresser drawer that the toddler and another 7-year-old child had access to.
During the investigation, police also noticed a loaded rifle in a crib used by the 22-month-old girl. Dudley explained that the rifle was in the crib because she had heard noises in her backyard. But she had forgotten to secure the rifle after discovering that there was no one on her property.
Investigators found flea bites and dog scratches on the 22-month-old daughter. Dudley told authorities that leg bruises were a result of the way she disciplined the child.
Dog feces, cigarettes and mold were found throughout the home, according to court documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch. Dirty diapers were also scattered on the basement floor.
Dudley was charged with seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of child abuse. She was being held in lieu of a cash-only $30,000 bond.
Court records indicated that Dudley failed to appear in several previous drug-related cases. She told police that she was hiding because she knew she was wanted.
[Photo credit: St. Charles County Jail]