MOORELAND, Ind. (WISH) – Two parents face neglect charges after investigators say their children were living in conditions so deplorable that their brains haven’t developed properly.
It happened in a mobile home in the 6300 block of N 635E in rural Henry County of Indiana.
36-year-old Vincent Zanghi and his wife, 23-year-old Sheena Zanghi, face four counts of felony neglect, one for each of the children under their supervision. Each count faces a maximum sentence of three years.
The couple share two one-year-old twin girls together and a two-year-old son. The fourth child, a three-year-old girl, belongs to Sheena from a previous relationship.
According to court documents, the family lived in the mobile home from March 2013 to June 2014.
Investigators visited the home June 27th and said it smelled of urine from the outside. Once inside, investigators said the floor was water damaged and unstable.
There was no running water, bathroom or refrigerator. The investigators said the home got electricity thanks to an extension cord running from a neighboring mobile home owned by Earl LaRue, Sheena’s grandfather.
The investigator added in the documents that the home’s windows were broken out and that the playpen the twins rested in had a urine soaked blanket and milk bottles that smelled sour.
“I’ve seen other cases like this where there have been home conditions that were allegedly substandard but this case had additional facts that I had no seen in previous cases,” said Joe Bergacs, Henry Co. Prosecutor.
The court documents state the investigator returned to the home days later with a DCS caseworker.
The four children were then brought to Henry County Hospital where a doctor determined they were underweight and were listed as “failure to thrive.”
The three youngest were then taken to Riley Hospital for Children where a child abuse specialist checked on them.
In the court documents, the specialist stated that the children were underweight with “associated poor linear and brain growth.”
She also found several signs of physical abuse due to scratches and bruises. One child had a skull fracture.
The doctor went on to say that the children were malnourished and at “significant risk for developmental delay.”
In the court documents, the Zanghi’s say they fed their children often but admitted the children behind on their immunizations and that they didn’t take them to the doctor.
“This case, like many, often come from a tip from someone in the community who sees it,” said Bergacs.
The court documents state that LaRue initially called police in late June after he said Vincent pushed and hit him. He also told investigators that Vincent was abusive to Sheena.
“There is a state statute that does talk about if somebody has witnessed child abuse or neglect, they have a duty to report it. I would say that if somebody sees it that they ought to report it,” said Bergacs.
The documents state that the foster parents are starting to get the children caught up on their immunizations.
Vincent left the mobile home in mid-June. Investigators said Sheena continues to live with her grandfather.
Bergacs said the Zanghi’s have been cooperative and are expected to turn themselves in to the Henry Co. Jail Wednesday.