Couple charged with endangerment after officers discover kids living in 'filth, feces'

Couple charged with endangerment after officers discover kids living in 'filth, feces'
Silvano Munoz (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
Silvano Munoz (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - An animal control officer following up on a welfare complaint found more than just dogs living in filth and feces, according to the arrest report he also discovered 2 young children living in the "uninhabitable" home.

Jonesboro police arrested Silvano Munoz, 24, and Kimberly Brynn Wright, 20, both of Jonesboro at their home in the 1500-block of Arrowhead Farm Road. Wright is charged with first degree endangering the welfare of a minor, a felony. Munoz is charged with three counts of animal cruelty and second degree child endangerment.

According to the initial incident reports, Officer Eric Schmett of Jonesboro Animal Control went to the couple's trailer on Tuesday to follow up on a welfare complaint from a neighbor.

"Upon arrival to the trailer I noticed trash piled up outside the front of the trailer," Schmett said. "I could also smell a foul odor coming from inside the trailer."

After knocking on the door, Schmett said a man later identified as Munoz answered the door and invited the officer inside.

"Once entering the trailer I observed animal feces throughout the common area of the trailer," Schmett said in his report.

A pit bull and Chihuahua were running loose in the trailer. A boxer was confined to a kennel with "standing feces and urine." Schmett said the boxer was also covered in feces.

Schmett said there was a strong odor of feces and ammonia in the trailer.

"The smell was so strong that it burned my eyes and lungs," he said. "At one point I had to exit the trailer so that I could breathe fresh air."

As he was taking photographs of the trailer, Schmett found a young child in a back room and called police.

When Officer Keri Varner arrived at the scene she encountered the same overpowering smell of feces and urine as described by Schmett, according to her report.

In addition to the sights described by the animal control officer, Varner said feces and urine were on the couch in the living room.

In the kitchen Varner found trash strewn about and on the floor. She also said she found several piles of feces, several smeared and some fresh, on the floor.

"The sink was full of dirty dishes and some that was molded," Varner said. "There was no food located in the cabinets and the refrigerator was empty."

In the hallway Varner said she found even more signs of feces and numerous pieces of trash.

The first bedroom she came to appeared to be a children's room with "numerous pieces of dirty clothing and trash in the room," Varner said. "That room also had a strong odor to it as well."

Near the bathroom were "piles of trash along with feminine products and paper on the floor," Varner said. In the bathroom she reported finding still more trash and "a large amount of feces in the commode."

In a back bedroom Varner found an 8-month-old child lying in a bed, crying.

The officer also found yet more trash and feces strewn throughout the room.

"There was an undetermined amount of used diapers laying in the floor behind the door," Varner said. "You could barely see the carpet in some areas."

Due to the strong odor of ammonia, trash and feces, she told Munoz to take the child outside for fresh air.

She said the baby was "coughing a little bit."

Due to the living conditions, Varner contacted the Department of Human Services.

A DHS agent arrived, checked the residence and took the 8-month-old child and a 3-year-old child into state custody.

Varner arrested Wright when she "finally walked back to the house," the report said.

"There was lack of concern as to why I was arresting her other than her wanting to know if the male (Munoz) was being arrested too," Varner said.

She then arrested Munoz and took both suspects to the Craighead County Detention Center where they were left in lieu of a probable cause hearing.

Varner notified Jonesboro Code Enforcement to check the residence.

Schmett took possession of all 3 dogs and issued a citation to Munoz for animal cruelty and no proof of state rabies.

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