MANCHESTER, N.H. (WHDH) - A Manchester couple is facing multiple counts of child endangerment after officers discovered five children living in what police considered “deplorable” conditions.
Steven Legault, 36, and Candace Krauklin, 35, were arrested on Thursday, Jan. 26, nearly three weeks after police first discovered and removed the children from their residence.
Officers were initially called to the Lake Avenue address the morning of Jan. 7, after a Department of Public Works employee reported seeing a young boy at the home, yelling from a window that he “could not get out.”
Police who arrived at the scene soon heard the boy yelling and spotted him in a sunroom “with bars on the window,” according to a press release from the Manchester Police Department.
Knocking on the door, officers noted that they could “immediately smell a strong odor coming from inside.”
The door was then answered by a man later identified as Steven Legault, who proceeded to step outside and was purportedly hesitant to let the officers in when informed they needed to perform a well-being check on the child.
According to the department, Legault ultimately agreed to let the officers in. Once inside, though, officers found the home’s conditions to be “deplorable.”
“The odor of urine and feces was very strong, animal waste was on the floor, and trash was throughout the house,” the department release stated. “There was a gate in front of the sunroom door and the door was shut. When Legault opened it officers saw a wet, discolored mattress and feces on the floor.”
In addition to the boy in the sunroom, officials found four other children were in the home. All five were under the age of 14 and were removed from the premises due to the living conditions.
An investigation followed the Jan. 7 incident, which led to police issuing warrants for both Legault and Candace Krauklin.
Manchester PD announced on Thursday, Jan. 27, that the two were arrested and charged with felony Criminal Restraint, as well as five counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Additionally, officials said Krauklin also faced a felony charge of Witness Tampering.
Both were arraigned in Hillsborough Superior Court North on Friday, Jan. 27, where they pleaded not guilty.
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