Local couple gets probation for home swarming with animals, bugs


by KMOV.com Staff


Posted on January 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 12:03 PM

(KMOV) -- A north St. Louis County couple have been given suspended sentences and placed on two year's probation after police found the woman's 70-year-old mother living in their home in deplorable conditions.

Barbara Endicott, 45, and her alleged boyfriend Richard West, 52, pleaded guilty on Monday to misdemeanor elder and animal abuse after exposing Endicott’s 70-year-old mother to animal waste, urine, roach and spider infestations.

St. Louis County Police were called to the home on Papal Drive in the fall of 2012 and found six dogs, 14 cockatoos and 30 cats with cockroaches and spiders lining the floor and appliances.

“A lot of animal feces on the floor, cobwebs that were all over the roof, extended down.” Officer Robert Rinck said. “It’s on the top of the list of one of the most deplorable homes that we’ve investigated.”

Endicott’s mother, Mary Hildebrand was living at the home at the time of the arrest.  She said at one point she got sick from the exposure to feces.

“I came down sick because of her boyfriend’s cats,” Hildebrand said.

According to the police report, she was dirty, and her clothes were soiled at the time of the investigation.

An officer said he observed the floor inside the home was covered in animal feces and urine. There were severe roach and spider infestations with a reported thick layer of roaches and spiders covering the walls and ceilings.

"She (Hildebrand) was just dripping of feces and bugs and stuff. It was just nasty," neighbor Deon Gillyard said.

Endicott and West were arrested and Hildebrand was removed from the home.

The animals were removed and a cleaning company was hired to scrub the house from top to bottom and abate all the issues.

“I couldn’t even have neighbors in my backyard because the smell was so hideous and treacherous. I couldn’t even come out in the summertime,” a neighbor said.

The county said the house was cleared for re-occupancy six months ago although a stench still lingers inside. The neighbors say the smell has dissipated from outside the house.

In addition to the suspended sentence and probation, the couple is barred from owning any animals, according to court records.