Portage woman charged with neglect after children, mother found ailing

2012-11-13T13:20:00Z 2012-11-14T12:29:03Z Portage woman charged with neglect after children, mother found ailingBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
November 13, 2012 1:20 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A woman was taken into custody Saturday after authorities found her children bloody from diaper rash, her mother faintly breathing and surrounded by "filthy conditions" along with a dead dog decomposing in a kennel at her residence.

Crystal Camacho, 30, of 1002 Camelot Manor in Portage, faces two felony counts of neglect of a dependent, a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals, and an outstanding warrant.

Police said they were called to the residence for a 60-year-old woman with an unknown breathing status.

Police found Camacho's mother, Nancy Martin, lying on her side in a rear bedroom, extremely cold to the touch and faintly breathing. She was carried out for medical care because the home was in a "polluted and filthy condition," police said.

"There were mass amounts of canine fecal matter throughout the residence, as well as rotting food and clothes scattered in the home," police said.

Martin died Sunday and an autopsy was performed Monday at the request of police, according to the Porter County coroner's office and Coroner Chuck Harris.

A cause of death was not immediately determined and is expected in about a week, Harris said.

Police found one live dog in the residence and another dead in its kennel that was so decomposed its remains had started to liquefy. There was no food or water inside the kennel, which police said indicated the animal had been neglected and/or abandoned.

Camacho, who fled the residence before police arrived because of her outstanding warrant, was reportedly in charge of taking care of the dogs because her ailing mother could not.

When police convinced Camacho to return home, they found her two children sitting in the rear seat of the littered vehicle suffering from severe diaper rash that left them bloody. The children were released to their grandparents, who were instructed to seek medical care.

Camacho has pending, unrelated criminal charges of felony theft and possession of a controlled substance. The warrant stemmed from the latter charge.

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