A Hill District woman was arrested Wednesday evening after police said they found her apartment in "unsanitary and deplorable" conditions.
Police said garbage and clothing were strewn across the floor of the Bentley Drive apartment Shartayua Chanell Mason, 26, shared with her four children ranging from ages 2 to 8.
Officers said in a criminal complaint that the home had a "pungent odor" that was "consistent with my experience in encountering deceased individuals inside residences" and that flies and fleas were flittering about. They also said a rabbit was running loose.
Ms. Mason was arrested by police when she returned home for the day about 6:30 p.m. At the time, she "broke down and began crying [and] stated that she's been asking for help and never received any. Mason stated that [children and youth services] was involved in the past and she had asked for more help," according to the criminal complaint.
Officers took her to the Allegheny County Jail where she was awaiting arraignment Wednesday night on four counts of endangering the welfare of children.
County Children and Youth Services took the children into custody.
Liz Navratil: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1438.