GANT: Woman Pleads Guilty to Living with Children in Filthy Clearfield Home

CLEARFIELD, Pa. (GANT) – One of the five people living with children in a filthy home in Clearfield’s East End was scheduled for sentencing Monday.

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Eleanor J. Snyder, 65, of Clearfield the oldest of the group, pleaded guilty before Judge Paul E. Cherry to a felony count of endangering the welfare of children, and a misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person.

According to reports, a dirty child was found wandering the area in just a diaper on Aug. 14. An officer recognized the three-year-old boy as the son of Andrea Snyder, who lived nearby.

When police returned the boy home, they allegedly found filthy conditions including dirty dishes, garbage, black/stained carpet, mold and a basement reportedly two-feet deep in sewage. There were four children in the house.

The home was later condemned by Clearfield Borough Code Enforcement Officer Larry Mack.

Cherry sentenced Snyder to two years probation and fined her $200.

Andrea Snyder, 36, is charged with five felony counts of endangering the welfare of children, and five misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Kimberly Jo Snyder, 38, Edward Alfred Snyder, 43, and Bryan Fulcher Hardy, 31, face similar charges.

Both Andrea and Kimberly have signed plea agreements and are scheduled to be sentenced on March 26. The other cases are still pending.

The criminal complaint details the conditions found by officers Daniel Podliski and David Fye in the home.

Once at the residence, Podliski spoke with another child who was playing in the alley and who said their mother was home.

He asked the child to go inside for her mother. Andrea Snyder came outside and began to accuse the child of not watching the toddler.

Podliski asked her where she had been because it appeared that she had just woken up. Andrea Snyder related she was in her kitchen making formula for her baby.

She said the boy possibly went out the front door but didn’t think he could have been gone more than five minutes. However, she was informed he’d walked to Pantry Petroleum, located along U.S. Route 322, officers received a complaint and responded, at which point he was returned to the residence.

Officers explained the toddler would have been gone at least 20 minutes, but Andrea Snyder disagreed with them. A Clearfield County Children & Youth Services worker was summoned to the scene and officers entered the residence.

Once inside, Podliski allegedly detected the odor of feces and rotten food. Mold was observed on the ceiling in the first room he entered, and electrical wiring was also hanging from the ceiling.

When Podliski entered the kitchen, he did observe an open container of formula but didn’t see a bottle in the immediate area.

He said food and “other substances” were stuck to the counter; on the table, there were numerous dishes and some had mold in them; mold was observed on both the table and floor; and there were garbage bags along the wall that had liquid leaking from them onto the floor.

In the living room, Podliski observed several children and an adult male, identified as Edward Snyder. He was asked where he was at when the boy got out and he replied “sleeping” and “they are not my kids.”

Podliski looked around the living and dining room areas, where he observed three mattresses. Andrea Snyder indicated the boys slept there; the carpet was reportedly stained black and dishes and food were on the floor in both rooms.

Podliski noted that the front door was locked and items blocked it, which would have prevented the boy from being able to open it.

Officers proceeded upstairs and there wasn’t a light in the stairwell. Podliski had to use his flashlight and saw a black substance covered the steps that appeared to have been there for some time. The steps, he said, were very slippery due to the excessive filth.

Officers went into the bedroom where Andrea Snyder related that she slept with the girls. They saw a seven-month-old baby sleeping on the bed. There were two beds inside the room, and its carpet was also stained black.

There was a bedroom across the hall, and Andrea Snyder said it belonged to her sister, Kimberly. When the door was opened, Podliski observed a child seated on the bed. From the doorway, Podliski observed garbage and clothes on the floor.

Podliski returned to his patrol unit for the department’s camera and photographed the interior of the residence. He summoned Mack to the scene and he walked through the residence again with Podliski, who discovered additional issues.

On the window sill in the kitchen, there was a liquid substance and numerous dead flies lying on it. Also, there was reportedly a bare electrical wire near the refrigerator where there should have been a switch.

When Podliski and Mack exited, a female arrived and related the basement was full of sewage. They went back inside to the basement door, which is located to the right of Eleanor Snyder’s bedroom.

Podliski said the lock was within reach of the children and a strong odor of feces was detected as soon as the door was opened.

Podliski shined his flashlight down the basement steps and observed suspected sewage, which he estimated was two-feet deep. Mack ultimately deemed the residence as uninhabitable due to its conditions.

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