WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – A West Des Moines mother is behind bars after police say she forced her three children to live in “horrific and unsanitary conditions”, didn’t feed them properly, and mentally and physically abused them.
Forty-six-year-old Tammy Vanlandingham is charged with three counts of neglect or abandonment of a dependent person. She is being held in the Polk County Jail.
Sgt. Jason Bryan with the West Des Moines Police Department tells Channel 13 that after receiving a complaint about possible neglect of children at Vanlandingham’s residence in the 3200 block of Vine Street, police along with representatives from the Department of Human Services visited the home on September 9th.
The criminal complaint says a search warrant “revealed horrific and unsanitary conditions to include the residence being covered in cat feces and urine, to include the children’s bedrooms.”
According to the complaint, Vanlandingham admitted that the conditions have been consistent for an extended period of time. The complaint lists October 2017 as the low range for when the incident began. She also admitted to knowing the conditions were a detriment to the children’s health and and mental safety.
Police say interviews with the children revealed Vanlandingham mentally and physically abused them.
She is also accused of not providing adequate food or health care for the kids.
Vanlandingham was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail on Tuesday.