OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: On December 5th at 2:30 am Coeur d'Alene Police arrested 26-year-old Elizabeth C. Crossley of Coeur d'Alene for two counts of felony injury to a child after officers responded to a welfare check of her two small children.
The reporting party by the name of Anthony Brown said he was walking by an apartment located at 1201 N. Lincoln Way and observed through a window two small children sleeping naked on the floor. Brown said he could not see any bedding for the children and they appeared to be sleeping in very dirty conditions. He knocked on the door of the apartment and spoke to two adult females. Brown told them the children looked like they needed some attention. He said the females dismissed his concerns and shut the door.
Officers arrived and also observed through the window the children laying face down on the carpet, naked, and clutching a small teddy bear. There were several dirty diapers on the floor and one in the window sill. Every wall in the room appeared to have fecal matter smeared on it. The children were dirty and appeared to be huddled together for warmth.
Officers made contact with the children's mother Elizabeth Crossley and their Grandmother Ruth K. Cassidy. Once inside the apartment officers observed a large number of cats and two dogs. The apartment was dirty and had garbage and clutter strewn about. Rotten food was on the stove and counter in the kitchen area. Officers observed Crossley's bedroom and Cassidy's bedroom and saw beds in both rooms that appeared relatively clean. Officers asked about the children. Crossley said they are her twin daughters that are two-years old. Officers asked to see the children and both women tried to keep them from doing so.
The officer opened the bedroom door and was met with a strong odor of fecal matter. He observed both girls on the floor covered in fecal matter. The smell was overwhelming to the point the officer had to step outside the door while he was retching. The officer immediately removed the girls from the room and placed them into protective custody. He observed injuries on both children. They had bruising on various parts of their bodies and open sores. Both girls had dried fecal matter caked on their head, arms, legs, hands, and feet. They were transported to Kootenai Medical Center for further determination of injuries.
The officer photographed the room and observed the entire carpet permeated with urine and feces. The stuffed toys the girls had been clutching were smeared in feces. There was a couch cushion tied to the door in such a fashion to stop the girls from hitting the door or pounding on it. There was a child door knob safety device so the girls could not open the door from the inside. (Continued)
The room had no furniture and there were fecal hand smears on the wall. The officer asked the grandmother Ruth Cassidy their names. Ruth was unable to tell the officer which girl was which and mixed up their identities. She was ultimately able to tell them apart by lifting up their shirts to differentiate between their injuries.
The mother Elizabeth Crossley offered no reasonable explanation for the injuries or living conditions of the girls. She said they were trouble and difficult to manage. Both children are currently in the custody of Health and Welfare.On today's date a warrant of arrest was issued for their grandmother Ruth Cassidy for felony injury to a child. Chief Longo praised Tony Brown for "his willingness to care and call the police. Isn't great we still live in a community where people will still get involved and do the right thing."