Police find family living in deplorable conditions

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A strong stench of urine, piles of feces on beds, and a decomposing cat. That’s what East Pennsboro Township Police say they found when they entered a home in Cumberland County on Monday. But that’s not all.

Lt. Mark Green says his eyes watered within 15 seconds of stepping inside. He says it was difficult to breathe and calls the home one of the most deplorable living spaces he’s seen in his 16 years with the police department.

A notice posted on the front door says a lot, but these pictures taken by East Pennsboro Township Police show even more.


These pictures show a bathroom sink, cluttered, and unusable. A kitchen that’s falling apart. Holes in the ceiling, which are visible from the first floor, and a photo of a decomposing cat. Not pictured are the piles of feces found on the children’s beds, dead mice, and the standing water left in the kitchen sink with maggots – all of which police found according to court documents.

Police also say the two kids, 10 and 13 often slept on a loveseat outside the home. They charged James and Stephanie Brennan with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of children. Police say they were tipped off by Cumberland County Children and Youth Services.

Administrator, Wendy Hoverter, wouldn’t comment on this specific case. But Hoverter tells us cases in which deplorable conditions are found – don’t happen often.

“There’s only a very small percentage, a handful in a year – where we arrive on the scene where the conditions are such that health and safety are truly threatened,” says Hoverter.

The couple was back at the home Wednesday cleaning up, but they wouldn’t speak to FOX43 on camera. James Brennan tells FOX43 he’s almost done cleaning. He says he’s going above and beyond what was asked of him. Neighbors tell us the front yard is now cleaner than it normally is and the Brennans removed at least 20 bags of trash from the home.

The Brennans hope to be back in their home by next week. The couple and their children are staying with a friend for the time being.


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