An Old Harden Orchard Road couple faces multiple charges and the possible loss of their two small children, according to the Commerce Police Department.
Sheila Rene Werner, 40, and Richard Calvin Madaris, 36, both of 294 Old Harden Orchard Road, were arrested after officers responded to a report of a toddler riding a tricycle in the middle of the road.
The caller just happened to be an employee of the Department of Family and Children Services, and while the report didn’t go into a lot of detail, it indicated that officers had previously responded to the same address for much the same reason.
This time, the responding officer noted that the child had a dirty diaper. When its mother approached, wearing a nightgown late in the morning, she allegedly told the officer that she’d been asleep due to medications and did not know the child was outside.
The officer entered the house with the child, and noted the smell of burnt marijuana, according to his written account. He also noticed that the house was dirty and that he saw numerous cockroaches, both dead and alive.
At that point, Madaris came out of a back room. Upon questioning by the officer, Madaris admitted prior arrests on marijuana and methamphetamine charges. With the consent of Werner, the officer conducted a search of the house, during which he allegedly found two plastic bags containing methamphetamine, a needle, some suspected Wellbutrin and Celexia not in their containers, a pornographic DVD and 15 marijuana plants, some inside the house and others outside.
The officer said Werner admitted responsibility for the marijuana and the pills, but neither claimed responsibility for the methamphetamine.
The officer charged both with possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of marijuana, cruelty to children and possession of drug-related objects. Werner was also charged with possession of pills outside their original container and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Madaris was also charged with giving false information to police.
The report indicated that the children, ages 2 1/2 and 6, were turned over to DFACS, which planned to place them with friends of the couple.