A Colorado woman was arrested after allegedly locking her two malnourished children in a sweltering bedroom while she was away on an out-of-state trip for two weeks.
Kanesha Godin, 25, was charged with felony child abuse. According to KKTV, police were called to her apartment on March 8 where they found her children — 3 and 4 years old — covered in their own feces.
“The children were wearing soiled diapers and nothing else,” the arrest affidavit states. “[Reporting party] said the apartment was extremely hot and he found that the thermostat was set at 90 degrees. The light inside the bedroom did not work. He used his cellphone light and saw feces smeared all over the walls, dirty diapers on the floor, as well as feces and urine stains.”
Godin, a military sergeant, had reportedly asked friend and fellow soldier Victoria Louis to come by and check on her children once a day to “give the babysitter a break” while Godin was in North Carolina for two weeks, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
“[Louis] was also told there was a neighbor watching in those off hours,” Fountain Police Sgt. Scott Gilbertsen told KKTV. “It was her understanding she was to give that neighbor a break for a couple of hours. That turned out not to be true.”
Louis would reportedly feed the children, give them water and change their diapers before locking them back in the bedroom.
Another soldier called police after accompanying Louis to the home and seeing the squalid conditions in which the children were being kept.
“I have seen some photographs,” Gilbertsen said. “The room is in disarray, the curtains were pulled off the wall, there was feces everywhere: on a crib, on the walls. My understanding was even the kids had feces on them.”
The children also appeared to be malnourished.
Godin was brought in for questioning on March 9, six days after she left for her trip. She told police that she was visiting her mother who had just had surgery, and that she had hired a babysitter whom Louis was relieving in the evenings. She said any text messages between herself, the babysitter and Louis had been erased from her phone.
Police then questioned Louis, who showed them text messages she had received from Godin.
“The police officers in Fountain r guna ask u questions,” one text read. “They r guna put me in jail. I need u to do me a favor. I know wat I told us as far as the kids, but plz say tht u were confused about who was supposed to stay the night. Cus if u don’t say tht I’m guna be charged with child neglect.”
Louis was later charged with misdemeanor child abuse for failing to report the situation to police.
While questioning the woman identified by Godin as the babysitter, police were shown another text message, which the woman — who said she was never asked to babysit Godin’s kids — described as “odd.”
“I need u to do me a favor,” that text read. “I need u to vouch as my daytime sitter. They r guna take my kids and throw me in jail and I did nothing wrong. I kno it’s weird and a lot but I just want to ask u tht favor.”
As of March 16, the children were with their father, who said he had been estranged from Godin for more than a year.