RACINE, Wis. (TCD) — A 34-year-old woman was arrested last week after her property manager reportedly discovered her five children malnourished and living in a dirty basement.
Court records show Dashja Turner was charged Aug. 10 with five counts of neglecting a child — consequence is great bodily harm. A judge set her bond at $1 million cash.
According to WISN-TV, on July 31, Turner’s property manager visited her home to fix smoke detectors and went into to the basement and noticed the lights were shut off and windows were closed. Then, she found the five victims and said they “looked skinny.”
The property manager told WISN, “They looked like they had not been bathed. They were lying on the floor. There was actually one baby in the bassinet, and there was another baby laying on its stomach on the mattress on the floor.”
The woman contacted the Racine County Department of Human Services, who then contacted Racine Police.
WISN, which cites the criminal complaint, reports the children range in age from 1 to 14 years old. The basement windows were reportedly covered in purple paint and four children had to share one small bed.
The criminal complaint said, “There was one twin size air mattress in the first room of the basement. On the air mattress, there were four frail, unkempt children laying on it. The mattress had a single sheet covering it. No pillows or blankets for the children were located.”
The father of two of the victims, who are 7 and 8 years old, told WISN police found them “wearing only socks.”
He said Turner ignores his text messages when he contacts her about seeing his sons.
One of the other fathers said his 14-year-old weighed 54 pounds.
According to WDJT-TV, the infant child reportedly weighed only 10 pounds. None of them weighed more than 55 pounds. Two of the children allegedly also had some markings on their body.
Court records show Turner’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.
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