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Texas mother arrested for leaving five children in feces-strewn home

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A Texas mother has been arrested on charges of endangering her five children ranging in age from 3 months to 8 years, who were discovered last week at home alone in filth, authorities said on Thursday.

Jessica Petroni, 27, was arrested on Friday after police were alerted to check on the children when the 8-year-old boy failed to show up for school for several days in the North Texas town of Bowie, police said.

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“It was trash dump in that house,” said Bowie Police Lieutenant Rick Beckham. “There were feces all over the floor and even in the refrigerator.”

Police found the 8-year-old in charge of his siblings, two girls ages 4 and 2, and two baby boys, a 17-month-old and a 3-month-old. The youngest two were wearing soiled diapers that appeared not to have been changed for days.

Three of the children were malnourished, including the 3-month-old who appeared to be near death, Beckham said. No food was found in the home.

Petroni has been charged with five counts of endangering a child, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. A lawyer for her was not immediately available for comment.

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The children were placed in foster care, according to Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokeswoman Marleigh Mesiner.

(Reporting by Marice Richter; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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