According to court documents, the mother was arrested on Tuesday after she allegedly forced her daughter to live in an apartment with her father’s decomposing body for several weeks. The woman told the officers that because there was no running water in the house, she and her 11-year-old daughter had been using buckets as toilets.
According to reports, Susan Que Smith, a woman from Texas, has been charged with one count each of intentional or reckless child endangerment and tampering with physical evidence/failure to report human remains.
Officers were called to the E.V. Apartments on South Prairie Circle on Dec. 1 after an animal control officer noticed a disturbing smell coming from one of the apartments.
As per Chattanoogadailynews, when the officers arrived on the scene, they entered the apartment and discovered a man’s decomposing body in the hallway. The body was wrapped in blankets and rubbish bags, according to authorities.
According to reports, Smith and her 11-year-old daughter arrived at the apartment and the lady began questioning why the officers were in her home.
According to reports, Smith identified the man as Michael West, who is the father of her daughter. The woman also stated that the man had been dead for about four weeks and that she had decided not to report the death because she was terrified of being evicted with her 11-year-old daughter.
According to reports, the responding officers stated that the apartment was unlivable. The mother told the authorities that because there was no running water in the house, she and her 11-year-old daughter had been using buckets as toilets.
According to cops, the apartment was filled with rotting food and garbage. The 11-year-old girl was taken to a nearby hospital for a medical checkup and treatment for several infected sores and bug bites, according to reports. Child Protective Services was subsequently enlisted to look after the child.
This incident is still being investigated. This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.