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7 children found malnourished in “deplorable” conditions


A West Rockhill couple is facing seven felony counts each of endangering the welfare of children after authorities found their seven children malnourished and living in “deplorable” conditions in a trailer in the Upper Bucks township.

The father — Shane William Robertson, 43 — and mother — Crystal Robertson, 37 — were arrested May 19 by Pennridge Regional Police, following an investigation that began April 23.

At that time, police were called to the 600 block of Roseann Lane by neighbors who said children were entering an abandoned trailer. Those children were found and returned to their home. During the trespassing investigation, police also spoke with the parents of three teens who live next to the abandoned trailer. That encounter led to police entering the home, where they saw the refrigerator locked with a padlock. The parents told officers the family had little money and the children ate the food, so they padlocked the refrigerator.

A report was filed with Bucks County Children and Youth Services and the following day police returned to the home with an investigator from Children and Youth. Four more children were found hidden in a rear bedroom. A total of seven children, ranging in age from 16 to four, were living in what officials described, in a statement, as “unsanitary and essentially unsafe” conditions. Six of the children are girls and one is a boy, according to court documents.

All the children were taken into protective custody and treated at Grand View Hospital, police said. Medical evaluations found the children “clinically underweight” and malnourished. Two of the children had to have their heads shaved due to severe matting. Extensive dental care is needed, as well as corrective eye care, police said.

Interviews with the children found that they had never attended school and did not know their birthdays. Officials reported that the children suffered social anxiety and did not like being around others.

Pennridge Regional Police Chief Paul Dickerson said three of the children are in foster care and four are with family members.

Both parents were able to post 10 percent of the $10,000 bail, Dickerson said.