A father has been arrested for neglecting his young sons so severely, they never learned to talk.
Robert Preston, from Dallas, Texas, left his sons – a two-year-old, twin three-year-old boys, and a five-year-old – in a squalid apartment with little-to-no contact with the outside world.
After Preston’s home was raided by police on 16th February, a report read: “That the children were referring to one another as Robert because they did not know their own names.”
The children’s language skills were so poor, police say they communicated via screams and hand gestures.
Despite Preston keeping the children out of sight, the police became aware of the situation after a neighbor noticed the three-year-old shivering in the complex’s parking lot.
The report also detailed the disturbing conditions the children were forced to live in.
“The floor was filthy, unkept, and there were bottles of various types of alcohol that were left open on the floor…
“The entire apartment reeked of feces, and the toilets of both bathrooms did not appear to have been flushed in weeks.”
Catherine Slade, who lives in the same complex as the family, said she was “shocked and disgusted and heartbroken” when she realised what was going on nearby.
Speaking to CBS11, she said: “‘We were just crying. It just totally makes me sick someone could do something like that.”
Once arrested, Preston “acted as though the situation was normal.” He has since been charged with four counts of child-endangerment and the boys are in the custody of child protective services.