FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) — An Orange County husband and wife were arraigned Friday for allegedly keeping two young female relatives malnourished and locked inside an unsanitary mobile home without letting them go outside.
Lester Louis Huffmire and his wife, Petra Huffmire, both 41, from Anaheim, pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of child abuse, two misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and a sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury.
Between May 21, 2010, and May 20, 2013, the couple reportedly kept the mobile home, located at Satellite Mobile Homes Estate, unsanitary and uninhabitable for the two girls, ages 5 and 10. Conditions included: kitchen appliances covered in mold and cobwebs; stacks of trash, debris, mold, and feces throughout the home; a pile of used condoms under a stuffed teddy bear; and inoperable toilets.
After a call from a neighbor on May 20, 2013, an officer from the Anaheim Police Department went to the home to conduct a welfare check and found the victims with dirt crusted on their feet, matted hair and damaged teeth beyond repair.
“They looked small. Very pale, malnourished, not clean,” said OC Deputy District Attorney Lori Smith.
The Huffmires, who are allegedly unemployed, are also accused of playing an online computer game, World of Warcraft, all day.
The duo did not let the victims out of the home for any reason and are accused of keeping them from attending school, according to the DA’s office.
Neighbor Grace McKee said she called officials more than once to report something suspicious inside the trailer. The last time was 12 days ago.
“I wish I had forced the issue years ago. They sorta said, ‘If you don’t see much, why should we come out?’ That sort of thing,” she said. “I wish I would have really, really insisted.”
Witness McKayla Smith said she briefly saw one of the girls.
“She had a really crazed look on her face. She had huge eyes. She looked sick. She stared at me for a moment and the curtain closed and somebody said, ‘Get away from that window,’” she said.
CBS2 left a message with Anaheim police to get their response to witnesses’ claims that they reported abuse, but were unable to get a response.