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Affidavit: Soddy-Daisy couple admits to locking children in bedroom

A court affidavit sent to NewsChannel 9 by Soddy-Daisy Thursday afternoon describes what officers say they saw during the couple's arrest. (Image: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Humane Educational Society)

A court affidavit sent to NewsChannel 9 by Soddy-Daisy Thursday afternoon formally charges Dustin and Staci Tallent with aggravated child neglect and describes what officers say they saw during the couple's arrest.

Dustin and Staci Tallent were arrested Monday after Soddy-Daisy Police (SDP) say they found two of their children locked inside a bedroom, 20 animals either in poor condition or dead, and garbage littering the house.

SDP say in the affidavit that when they entered the home, they were "overtaken by a horrible odor of feces, urine, and an odor that resembled decaying flesh." The parents told police that the garbage situation had gotten out of control about a year ago.

Related | Children seek community support after parents arrested in Soddy-Daisy

The affidavit also says the children "had been scratching and smearing feces all over the walls." Both parents told police that they locked the children in their rooms when the parents slept or were busy with other work.

When asked about dead animals that had been put into freezers, SDP says Dustin told them that they could not afford veterinary bills and did not have a shovel to bury them after they died.

The Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga announced Thursday that they have filed 15 counts of aggravated animal neglect against each of the two parents.

Read the affidavit here:


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