WESTGATE, Iowa — The Fayette County Sheriff believes a man accused of child endangerment was violating a no-contact order by using a secret door.
Joshua Steinbronn is accused of putting his girlfriend’s children in a room and denying them food and the use of a bathroom.
He was arrested Monday and charged with five counts of child endangerment, five counts of false imprisonment and one count of possession of meth paraphernalia.
He was released on bail on the condition he have no contact with the children. However, since his release authorities received multiple reports that he was in the house with the children.
A DHS investigation uncovered that Steinbronn was using a hidden door under the home to enter a closet, sister station KWWL reports.
DHS discovered he had been hiding in the crawl space, and had been in contact with the children.
Deputies arrested Steinbronn and charged him with violation of a protective order.
The children’s mother, Jonya Smith, was also arrested and charged with child endangerment, aiding and abetting a no-contact order and driving while suspended.
Steinbronn and Smith are in the Fayette County Jail awaiting their initial appearances.
All five children have been removed from the home by DHS staff.