Squatting Couple Arrested After Children Were Found Locked In A Room Eating A Mattress

Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Julian Schultz

A couple who was reportedly squatting at a vacant Bronx apartment was arrested after police found two children in a locked bedroom eating bits of a foam mattress, BXTimes reported. 

The suspect, Stephanie Grabowski, a 40-year-old, and her boyfriend Mark Russell, 45, have been arrested, police announced. The couple was allegedly squatting in an apartment at the New York City Housing Authority’s Mitchel Houses, according to the DA’s office.

NYPD officers were sent to vacate the residence on May 3 only to find Grabowski’s two daughters, ages five and four, inside a filthy bedroom covered in feces and filled with dirty diapers and garbage, according to the DA’s office.

“The defendants allegedly kept these little girls in a house of horrors,”

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark told the outlet.

“They illegally occupied an apartment and left the children alone without food or clothing. Fortunately, police rescued the girls, and a nurse discovered signs of abuse for which they are being treated. The situation is beyond the pale.”

The children have been placed under the care of the Children’s Advocacy Center. According to medical examiners at Jacobi Medical Center, the two girls suffered

“significant bruising and marks in various stages of healing, rashes throughout their bodies and difficulties walking, standing and speaking.” 

The couple both face

“two counts of second-degree kidnapping, two counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree burglary, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child,”

according to the Department of Corrections. Grabowski is being held at Rikers Island where she faces additional charges for

“two counts of first-degree kidnapping”

for an incident that happened between Nov. 14 through May 3 at the Mitchel Houses apartment and also at 420 E. 169th St, reports reveal. 

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