6 children removed from deteriorating home after 29 investigations by child protective services
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Six children are in the custody of Washtenaw County Child Protective Services after the agency was called to a deteriorating Ypsilanti Township home on 29 occasions throughout the past two years.
The children ranged in age from 4 to 14 years old.
Child welfare investigators also tipped off Ypsilanti Township authorities to the poor condition of the home, which has a multitude of code violations.
Police have been called to the home on 45 occasions since 2011 to investigate reports including family trouble and criminal sexual conduct.
Washtenaw County CPS supervisors declined to comment for this story, and a State of Michigan Department of Human Services representative did not return calls seeking more information about the child welfare investigation.
Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said he didn't know why it took so long for the children to be removed from the house, adding that it was a decision for CPS. He said 24 of 29 investigations into complaints there were "unfounded."
"I don’t know the full extent of investigations," Jackson said.
Jackson did confirm that a man living in the home at one time had been convicted of criminal sexual conduct for a sexual assault involving a child.
Jackson said no charges have been brought against the mother of the children. She declined to comment when an AnnArbor.com reporter knocked on the door last week.
AnnArbor.com is not publishing the address of the home or the name of the mother to protect the identity of the children.
Conditions at the home came to the attention of township officials on March 12, when CPS, conducting a child welfare investigation, alerted township building officials to the decaying home.
Among other issues at the house are dangerous electrical wiring, animal feces on the floor, a deteriorating floor, trash strewn about the house, a crack through the wall letting in outside light, a collapsing roof on the attached carport, rotting food and more. The entire basement floor is covered in several inches of rubble.
The township condemned the home the following day and filed for an emergency hearing in Washtenaw County Circuit Court seeking a temporary restraining order prohibiting anyone from entering the property.
That restraining order was granted on March 19, and the township will next have a hearing seeking a permanent injunction and an order to bring the home up to code or demolish it.
Officials say they have information that the children's mother continues to occupy the home. Ypsilanti Township Building Director Ron Fulton said the woman's parents own the home, though they haven't seen it in three years.
A trash receptacle filled with debris sat on the home's driveway last week. Fulton said the debris filling the receptacle is from the basement and the rest of the of the house hadn't yet been cleared.
"They have made progress and we are always pleased to see when someone is taking a situation seriously," Fulton said, adding that structural issues would have to be addressed once the house was cleared of trash and debris.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the AnnArbor.com news desk at email@example.com.