SMITHTON, Pa. (KDKA) – A man and a woman from Westmoreland County charged with child abuse last fall are facing new charges after their three children showed signs of physical abuse while in foster care.
Mel and Jamie Anastasiu were charged last year when state troopers entered a home and found a 3-year-old girl and a 1-year-old girl wearing a wet diaper and sitting in a urine-soaked crib
The three children, ages 5, 3 and 1, were put into foster care after a man allegedly left two of them home alone.
While they were in foster care, police say the 5-year-old and 3-year-old showed signs of neglect and possible past physical abuse.
The 5-year-old was reportedly afraid to take a bath and would throw tantrums for two to three hours per night. The criminal complaint says the 5-year-old was angry and swore a lot.
It also says the 5-year-old wasn’t potty trained.
There were physical signs of abuse, according to police, like marks on the body and other health issues that suggested the 5-year-old hadn’t seen a doctor in a while.
The 3-year-old showed similar signs of physical abuse as the older sibling.
Police say the 1-year-old appeared to have a large diaper rash that could possibly leave a permanent scar.
According to the criminal complaint, the three children were taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital for a medical evaluation.
The 5-year-old and 3-year-old were given forensic interviews at A Child’s Place to see if they would reveal anything about their biological parents.
The report says the 3-year-old couldn’t sit still long enough to talk to interviewers.
The criminal complaint says the 5-year-old differentiated the foster parents as “good mommy, good daddy” and the biological parents as “bad mommy, bad daddy.” The 5-year-old would not speak about the physical abuse.
Police say because of these unexplained scars and marks that appear to be caused by abuse, the endangering the welfare of a child charge is considered a felony.