GLENDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - 27-year-old Jillian Wheeler was arrested on October 26 after police found her Glendale home covered in filth. They also found 5 children living in the home. She has since been charged with 4 counts of child abuse with intent.
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Wheeler was arrested at her home near 49th Avenue and Olive. According to court documents she has 5 children, 4 were her biological children living with her. Those children are between the ages of 3 and 8.
Police say there was rotting garbage and food in the kitchen, no working toilets, also human and animal feces throughout the home.
The children told detectives that for the past year their mom had been locking them in their rooms for hours on end, even as they screamed to be let out so they could go to the bathroom.
Officers also discovered that the doors to those rooms could be locked from the outside with deadbolts.
"Very seldom saw them outside, maybe once or twice a month," said Tom Barsuk.
Neighbor Tom Barsuk says he's surprised by the condition inside the home, but he's not shocked. He says the outside of the home was always dirty, and he never saw the kids outside playing.
"Us and a couple of the other neighbors had called code compliance on them because it would get pretty bad out there. There would be trash laying in the street and in the driveway," said Barsuk.
Barsuk says police told him it was one of the children inside the home who called 9-1-1 to report a burglar. He says it was that call that led officers to discover the real horrors inside the home.
The children have been taken by the Arizona Department of Child Safety, and we're told they are still in DCS care. Wheeler has bailed out of jail and is expected in court on November 17.