ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) -- St. Charles County detectives knew by the stench as they tried to enter a home that there was something strange inside.
They were right: Authorities say the house was inhabited by 157 snakes and lizards and up to 2,000 mice and rats to feed them.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 37-year-old Anthony Higgins Sr. and his wife, 36-year-old Michelle Higgins, were both charged Thursday with two counts of child endangerment. Their children, a 13-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy, are in the custody of an uncle.
Deputies were called to the home after a hotline call about possible child neglect. Officials say the smell was so bad the deputies had to run back outside.
The couple did not have a telephone listing, and did not yet have an attorney.