A New Orleans sheriff said he's "seen wild animals take better care of their babies" than a drug-addled couple accused of starving their 4-month-old daughter to death and severely neglecting their toddler in their ramshackle trailer.
Parents Angel Taylor, 24, and Chevy Lafountain, 31, were arrested and charged with second-degree murder, neglect and child abuse following the mother's 911 call reporting that her infant wasn't breathing on Tuesday, according to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Department.
When deputies arrived at their home in the community of Reserve, the baby was immediately pronounced dead.
The condition of her body contradicted the story her young mother allegedly told dispatchers: that she had just laid the child down for a nap an hour before.
"How long that baby was actually deceased, I couldn't tell you," Sheriff Mike Tregre said at a press conference, according to FOX 8 Live. "The child had been severely malnourished, who knows the last time that baby had a meal."
A later autopsy revealed that the infant died malnourished, dehydrated and starved, police said.
Like his deceased sister, Lafountain and Taylor's 13-month-old son also showed signs of extreme neglect.
But somehow, Tregre said, "the boy found a way to eat and managed to survive."
In addition to their murder charges, Taylor and Lafountain face felonies for cruelty to juveniles with force/violence and misdemeanors for child desertion for what Tregre characterized as "neglect to the highest level."
Police said outward appearance of their trailer hinted at the horrors inside, surrounded with children's toys, garbage and detritus. Both parents admitted drug use, Tregre said, and neither expressed remorse.
"Both admitted that they treated the children poorly," Tregre told reporters. "[Chevy Lafountain] blamed everyone but himself."
Specifically, according to Law & Crime, Lafountain blamed his drug dealers; Taylor said she did not know she was passed out for hours at a time, neglecting her children.
Judge Nghana Lewis set both parents' bonds at $600,000 with no option to post 10 percent, according to FOX 8 Live.
The toddler was removed from the home and placed in state custody, police said.