A Modesto couple faces child endangerment charges after officers caught the pair living in a "horrid and very unsafe" abandoned house, police said Thursday.
Angelica Madrigal and John Oliver had been squatting in the home, in the 700 block of West Union, with a 3-year-old, according to a news release from the Modesto Police Department.
Neighbor were shocked by the news.
"Itís terrible, itís tragic, itís so sad," said Trinity Stewart, who lives a few doors away from the abandoned house. "I couldn't imagine. I have a son myself."
Some neighbors said they have never seen a child playing outside.
"I think itís pretty gross and disgusting to have a 3-year-old child in a house like that -- in an environment like that," said Keith McLelland, who lives across the street.
Several weeks ago, officers and city officials started taking reports that a couple had moved into the house illegally, after the former owner died.
Police launched an investigation to determine the home's ownership, but all notices placed on the doors were removed quickly, officers said.
On Thursday, a crime reduction team -- along with city officials and a contractor -- went out to the house to board it up.
There, they found the child, 39-year-old Oliver, and the man's girlfriend, 40-year-old Madrigal, police said.
"There were uncapped needles all around the home," Modesto police Officer John Wohler said in the release. "There was also no water, garbage or sewage service, and no electricity to the property. There was human waste all over the residence, and it appears they lit a fire in a fireplace that was unsafe and could have caused a structure fire."
Officials took the 3-year-old into protective custody, and turned the child in to Child Protective Services.