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Woman charged after children found living in a home filled with insects, pooling water and feces

Woman charged after children found living in a home filled with insects, pooling water and feces


RACINE — A Racine woman allegedly had children living in a home filled with insects and flies, water flooding the floor and feces spread throughout.

Johnnie Delacruz, 24, of the 600 block of 10th Street, is charged with two misdemeanor counts of neglecting a child with no specified harm, misdemeanor counts of resisting an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and obstructing an officer and five misdemeanor counts of bail jumping.

According to a criminal complaint:

On Sept. 23, an officer was dispatched to the 600 block of 10th Street in response to a report of child neglect. The officer then spoke to a neighbor who said he was concerned about the children, ages 1 and 2, living with Delacruz and was notified by other neighbors that the two kids were outside in the front yard for hours without an adult. He said the children were not taken care of and that Delacruz used crack.

Johnnie Delacruz


Upon arrival, the officer immediately detected the foul odor of garbage and cat urine emanating from behind the door. The officer made contact with a resident who brought out the children and said Delacruz was not home.

An officer spoke to a neighbor who said he saw the children outside without anyone watching them.

He took the children to McDonald’s with his own kids and got them something to eat. During the couple of hours they were with him, no one was concerned where they had been and no adults had been looking for them.

He stated he often takes care of the kids, feeding them and bringing diapers over to the house since Delacruz doesn’t take care of them. He also stated the house was in bad condition and there is cat feces on the walls.

Officers spoke to the owner of the house and asked to see the inside. Inside, the officer could smell a heavy presence of ammonia and feces. The living room and kitchen floors had pooling water and there was cat feces in several locations.

The owner advised the children slept on an air mattress in the living room but could not show any such air mattress. He showed the room where Delacruz stays and there were flies and insects all over the bedroom and clothes covering the entire floor. In the bathroom there was a swarm of flies, a non-working toilet and standing water.

The smell was so strong it caused the officer to dry heave while wearing his mask. The owner stated the house did not look this way until Delacruz moved in.

On Friday, an investigator observed that a Child in Need of Protection order was placed for both children. The investigator spoke with a Human Services Department worker who was assigned and stated that Delacruz’s whereabouts were unknown.

On Saturday, information was received that Delacruz might be in the area of 17th Street and Packard Avenue. Investigators responded to the area and observed Delacruz.

She was then searched and inside her jacket pocket was a white napkin rolled in a ball. Inside was a crack pipe.

When asked where the children were, Delacruz said on 17th and Deane. Investigators suspected this was a lie, and they were later informed the children were at the 1600 block of Packard Avenue. The unit smelled heavily of smoke and marijuana, and the children were located only wearing diapers, and were in dire need of a bath and their diapers changed.

Delacruz was given a $1,000 signature bond and a $250 cash bond in Racine County Circuit court on Monday.

A status conference is set for Dec. 14 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave., online court records indicate.

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