A mother and father are facing criminal charges after Casper authorities say they found the couple’s child inside a bedroom with feces “on his hands, face and back.”
Prosecutors have charged Carl James Shumaker and Tiffany Nicole Shumaker with one count each of child endangerment. The misdemeanor carries a maximum possible penalty of one year behind bars.
The case began Wednesday morning, when police went to the couple’s home after authorities received a call about a 2-year-old living in unsafe conditions. A Department of Family Services agent told officers she had received several reports of the child “pooping in his bedroom and spreading fecal matter throughout his bedroom,” according to an arrest affidavit.
Tiffany Shumaker let officers into the home when they arrived. Police, once inside, noticed a smell of fecal matter and the home in disarray. Let into the child’s bedroom, which was equipped with a child safety handle that would not let the door be opened from the inside, an officer found the boy “standing on his bed naked” and covered in feces, authorities say.
There was fecal matter on the walls and hand prints “where it had been spread” by the child. It was also found on the ceiling, appearing to have been thrown there, according to the affidavit.
A Casper-Natrona County Health Department employee who inspected the home estimated the feces found in the child’s bedroom was two to seven days old.
Authorities say Tiffany Shumaker told them she had tried to get help for her child from a specialist, but had “run out of options.” She said she couldn’t clean the home because of a skin condition that causes her hands to bleed when exposed to cleaning agents, according to the affidavit.
Her husband, she said, does the majority of the cleaning but, “He is somewhat of a space cadet and forgets,” the affidavit quotes her as saying.
Authorities also called Metro Animal Control to the home to remove 11 cats and one dog that were found there.
At their initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Wednesday, the Shumakers both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A jury trial will be scheduled.