Mother arrested on child endangerment charges in Bell Co.

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FERNDALE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A woman was arrested in Bell Co. Tuesday after deputies say they found her living with two children in deplorable conditions.

Deputies say they went to a home in the Ferndale Apartments, along with a Social Services officer, to conduct a child welfare check.  When they arrived, no one would answer the door, but they say they could hear children inside.  When they went around to the back of the home, they say they found the door cracked.  As they identified themselves, investigators say a neighbor told them that she had seen a child being thrown around and bleeding the night before.  Given that information, deputies say they decided to enter the residence to ensure no children were endangered.

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Once inside the home, deputies say  there was an overwhelming odor of urine and fecal matter in the apartment. They were met by the mother of two young children, 26-year-old Brandi Howerton of Pineville, coming downstairs from the second floor. The children, later determined to be a two year old boy and 5 year old girl, were found to be soiled and had black marker drawings on their bodies.

The deputies and social worker say they discovered garbage and dishes piled up along with spoiled food throughout the first floor. They also found the bathroom commode not flushed and Howerton said that the water had been turned off for several days. Howerton also said she was in the process of being evicted.

The deputies then made their way to the second floor and say they found the upstairs bathroom overflowing with fecal matter. In one of two bedrooms, investigators say they discovered syringes and a foldable knife locked open on the floor. In Howerton’s bedroom they found more syringes and a small metal container with crystal residue believed to be methamphetamine. Deputies say they also found was a cellophane wrapper with crystal residue believed to be methamphetamine, that was purposely concealed. Howerton later admitted to using meth.



A relative of Howerton’s was contacted to take the children from the apartment.

Howerton was arrested on charges of criminal abuse, endangering the welfare of a minor, tampering with physical evidence, and drug paraphernalia.  She was taken to the Bell Co. Detention Center.