MADISON COUNTY, IL (KPLR) - The parents of a New Douglas baby are facing charges after the infant was found dead Tuesday morning. Timothy and Amy Elkins, 35, face charges of involuntary manslaughter, felony child endangerment, and misdemeanor child endangerment. Bond for each of the parents is set at $125,000.
Deputies with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 2-month-old Matthew. Emergency crews were called to the 400 block of N. Main Street at around 5am Tuesday for an infant who was not breathing. The baby was rushed to Staunton Memorial Hospital, but pronounced dead a short time later.
The city of New Douglas had the home boarded up soon after the death of the child. There are notices spray painted on the boards covering the doors and windows of the home that say, "This structure is unsafe, and occupancy has been prohibited by the city. No trespassing."
Police say the conditions inside the home were, "deplorable." There were at least seven children living in the home with the parents. Investigators say they have never seen living conditions as bad as this. There are rooms with trash piled to the ceiling, dog feces are everywhere.
Every person who lived in the home slept on one mattress placed on the floor. Investigators believe that the infant was sleeping in a pumpkin seat. It was bumped during the night and the baby was found face down. Preliminary autopsy reports say the infant suffocated.
Other children living in the home are now living with another family. The oldest child in the home was 15-years old. Police say the parents became accustomed to their living situation and did not believe they were doing anything wrong.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has been called to assist with the investigation.