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Grand Forks-area couple charged after children found in unsanitary home

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- An Emerado couple have been charged with child neglect or abuse after sheriff’s officials say they found unsanitary and hazardous living conditions inside their home.

Richard Elskoe, 48, and Kimberly Elskoe, 39, pleaded not guilty this week in state district court in Grand Forks, each to a Class C felony count of child neglect or abuse.

Cpl. Mike Lee of the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department said in a probable cause affidavit that social workers asked for help checking on a child with special needs.

On Oct. 3, Lee and Deputy Lee Mewes went to the trailer home and found it had an “odor of ammonia from urine and feces ... piles of animal feces and urine in plain view … garbage and debris scattered about.”

Four juveniles were in the home, including a boy, 15, “sitting or lying in a bed with a urine-soaked diaper, wearing only a diaper and a urine-soaked T-shirt,” according to Lee.

The boy is the son of Richard Elskoe and stepson of Kimberly Elskoe and has special needs, according to court documents.

Their home includes Kimberly Elskoe’s two adult children and six minors, including two grandchildren. Three of the children are 3 or younger.

The couple remain free on bond of $1,000 cash or surety.

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