Mesa couple accused of abuse for neglecting 3 youngsters

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Katrina Johnson and Brandon Edwards have been arrested this week after their daughters have been discovered going to neighbors’ houses for meals and water.

MESA, Ariz. — Katrina Johnson and Brandon Edwards of Mesa have been arrested on three counts of kid abuse for the neglect of their three daughters. 

Investigators discovered that the youngsters have been residing in a house filled with trash, with a bathroom “crammed to the brim with human feces,” no operating water, and little to no edible meals. 

In interviews with police, the couple stated they knew the circumstances have been neglectful and so they’d been spending cash from Katrina’s mom on medication as an alternative of on feeding their youngsters.

Preliminary investigations

The investigation started on Feb. 20, 2022, when deputies with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Workplace responded to a welfare examine on the couple’s dwelling. 

A caller reported that the three little women had been going to a neighbor’s home for meals and water, officers stated.

In line with the MCSO’s report, deputies discovered that the house was filled with trash, and known as the MCSO Particular Victims Unit to analyze.

In an interview with investigators, Katrina advised detectives that the youngsters have been enrolled in an internet faculty, and she or he “would take them to Brandon’s mom’s home just a few occasions every week to wash.”

Brandon, in the meantime, advised investigators that Katrina was homeschooling the youngsters.

The investigation discovered that the youngsters had been dropped from their on-line faculty, and studies stated Brandon’s assertion had been confirmed false.

The circumstances of the house

In line with the MCSO, investigators obtained a search warrant so they might {photograph} the within and out of doors of the house.

There they discovered “extreme quantities of trash” all through the house, in addition to extra stunning circumstances.

The house was with out operating water, there was little to no edible meals, and the bathroom had been “crammed to the brim with human feces.”

When investigators interviewed the little women, one stated she was usually hungry as a result of Brandon and Katrina could not afford to purchase meals. She advised authorities that her older sister would go to their neighbor’s home for meals and water.

Information from the Arizona Division of Schooling confirmed that two of the youngsters had been enrolled at school in some unspecified time in the future.

Nevertheless, the third daughter had by no means been enrolled in an Arizona faculty, officers stated.

Of their report, the MSCO stated that Katrina “admitted permitting her youngsters to stay inside the house in its present situation was neglectful.”

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Funding the neglect

Within the preliminary interviews, Katrina had advised investigators that the water to the house was shut off as a consequence of “preexisting fines” on the house.

However when investigators reached out to the Metropolis of Mesa, they discovered that the town would not maintain fines in opposition to a property. These preexisting fines would not apply to a brand new particular person shifting into the house.

Beforehand, Brandon had advised investigators that he was employed for 20 years with Membership Crimson in Mesa. 

Nevertheless, officers stated that the Arizona Division of Financial Safety had no employment info obtainable about Brandon. In line with the identical information, Katrina had been unemployed since late 2020.

Brandon’s mom, Karen, shared some perception with 12News into her son and Katrina’s circumstances. 

Total, she shared how damaged up she was over the main points within the MCSO report. Karen stated she’s devastated about the whole state of affairs and added that regardless of the intense allegations, her son is an effective father and supplier.

“My coronary heart’s breaking. He could not have been an ideal father however he made positive that my grandbabies have been all the time fed and all the time had a roof over their head and that is why they ended up in that home,” the grandmother stated.

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When investigators interviewed Katrina’s mom, they discovered that she had been sending Katrina hundreds of {dollars}.

Officers stated {that a} complete of $2909 had been despatched to Katrina, and Katrina had advised her mom the cash would pay for lease, automobile repairs, utilities, and meals.

In a second interview with Katrina, she admitted that she often used that cash to purchase medication as an alternative of meals for her daughters.

Medical studies discovered that the three youngsters have been underweight after they have been taken into custody.

Karen advised 12News she was shocked by the claims within the MCSO studies and claims she wasn’t conscious of any latest drug use.

“I simply do not see her doing that both. I like them, however they should do what they have to do, to combat to get the infants again,” she added.

Identified abuse

Throughout her first interview, Katrina advised investigators that she and Brandon had moved their youngsters to the house as a result of they “had no different choices.”

The ladies have been taken to the house of Brandon’s mom to wash just a few occasions every week, Katrina stated.

Officers stated that Katrina admitted it was neglectful to let the little women stay within the dwelling underneath these circumstances.

Investigators discovered that the house’s circumstances have been unlivable for anybody.

Over the course of the investigation, authorities discovered that along with utilizing cash from Katrina’s mom to purchase medication, the couple had declined a suggestion from Brandon’s mom for the ladies to stick with her at her dwelling.

When requested why the youngsters weren’t enrolled at school like she stated they have been, Katrina advised investigators that it was “dangerous decisions and even pure laziness.”

Each Brandon and Katrina are dealing with three felony counts of kid abuse and three counts of contributing to the dependency of a minor.

Their courtroom listening to is scheduled for August.   

Family members say the ladies are presently in foster care and enrolled at school. 

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOLTres niños de Mesa fueron rescatados por vivir en condiciones deplorables, los padres fueron arrestados

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