Two charged after authorities find infants in deplorable living conditions

Two charged after authorities find...

BOONE COUNTY, M - Two people were arrested Thursday after officials from the Boone County Sheriff's Department found two infants living in "deplorable" conditions.

David Ludeman and Kelsey Dafron were arrested after an investigator from the Missouri Department of Social Services Children's Division and a sheriff's deputy were called to check on a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old at 505 Timothy Drive in Boone County.

The Children's Division had received a hotline top about conditions in the home.

The children's bedroom appeared to have dirty diapers in it, flies were found in the refrigerator and Ludeman seemed to be under the influence of drugs, authorities said.

Dafron admitted that the dirty diapers had been there since the 1-year-old was born, investigators said.

Court documents said there was only a very small amount of old, crusty baby formula on the kitchen counter and every surface was covered with food, trash and debris.

Ludeman fled when authorities arrived but he was tracked through the snow by deputies. He admitted to knowing that the home was not fit for children but he said he had been left alone to care for them despite his drug use, authorities said.

Ludeman and Dafron are being held on separate $13,000 bonds.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department has contacted the health department.

Deputies said they also tried to contact the landlord, but they have not been able to reach them. Deputies identified the landlord as Ludeman's mother.

She called ABC17 News Friday to dispute the claims that there was no power or heat in the home. Whena  reporter asked if the reported conditions in the home were correct, she confirmed it.

An earlier version of this story reported that the power in the home was not working but that was incorrect. The refrigerator was not working and many of the lights did not have light bulbs in them.

Boone County deputies said Friday they had actually been called to Timothy Court a few months ago after someone complained about the state of the front of the house but could not get in touch with Ludeman's mother and never heard from her after that.

Deputies said they couldn't force a landlord to clean up their home in the county because of the county's "home rule" form of government. For reference, the city of Columbia has a "charter" form of government, so they have the option to perform protective inspections of homes and take steps to make sure the landlord cleans up. Those could include citations and fines.

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