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Children lived with rats and cockroaches at home where human remains were found

Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 15:36:44-05

The children of a woman at the center of a missing person case were found living in a home with "deplorable" conditions, according to court documents obtained by News 5.

The 34-year-old mother was taken into custody earlier this week after police received a tip regarding the possibility her 5-year-old child was buried in the backyard of a home on the city's west side.

Human remains consistent with those of a young child were found at the house on the 1360 block of West 80th Street on Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

When investigators received the initial tip on Monday they found the home to be filthy. An affidavit described the house as "deplorable and unsanitary" and filled with rats and cockroaches. One of the woman's children was seen eating a sandwich with cockroaches in it, according to court documents.

The Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services removed five children, ages 1 to 12, from the home. The affidavit states the children were in "immediate danger," due to the conditions of the home and the investigation involving the mother.

While the affidavit states the mother was arrested in connection with the death of a child but no charges have been filed at this time.

RELATED: Aunt of child who tipster said was buried in yard: 'What is wrong with our system?'

The mother has a history with Children and Family Services going back to when she was a minor in 1998. According to court records, when the woman was 15 years old, authorities removed her from her parent's custody after they refused to provide care and support for her.

The mother — who has eight other children — told police the boy is visiting his biological father in Texas. According to the police report, she said the boy "has special needs and is unable to speak."

The woman was unable to provide a phone number, address or way to contact the boy's father, police said. She referred to the child's father as a "donor" who she met on Facebook, according to the police report.

News 5 is not identifying the mother because she has not been charged with a crime. 

Correction: Dec. 20, 2017
An earlier version of this story stated a child had been removed from the woman's custody when she was 15-years-old. It should read as the woman was removed her parent's custody when she was 15.