The arrest of a Dallas man after his two children were found earlier this week in a trash-strewn, boarded-up home was not the first time the family had contact with authorities.
Child Protective Services was notified in 2005 and 2006 that the children may have been kept in neglectful, squalid conditions, but proof of the allegations could not be found, said Marissa Gonzales, CPS spokeswoman.
That was not the case Monday when Gregory Dewayne Amphy, 22, was arrested on several charges, including two counts of endangering a child. The arrest was made shortly after police found his 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter alone in the home at the 3500 block of Holmes Street in southeast Dallas.
Officers responding to a neighborhood complaint about drug activity at the house found the children on a soiled mattress inside the house, which has had no utilities since 2002, police said. Human feces, they added, had piled up in a toilet and a 9mm pistol was within easy reach of the children, police said.
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CPS placed the children in foster care. Meanwhile CPS officials planned to talk with Amphy while in custody and with Leeann Foster, the mother, to determine if there were any relatives who could care for the children.
"Greg Amphy is the father of both children," Gonzales said. "However, he and Ms. Foster are not a couple currently."
Foster told CPS officials after Amphy's arrest that the children lived with her, but she recently allowed them to stay with Amphy for a visit, Gonzales said.
The first CPS contact with the family was in August 2005 when the agency got a tip "that the two parents and both children were living in an apartment that was unsanitary and that the children were dirty," Gonzales said.
A CPS caseworker went to the address, but found that the family had moved. The worker tracked them down to a new address, but that home was clean "with no hazards," Gonzales said.
The worker concluded that allegations of neglect were "unable to be determined" because the family moved and conditions at the old address could not be investigated, Gonzales said.
The family, however, "was referred to a private social service agency for support services," Gonzales said.
In June 2006, CPS was notified that the parents "got into a physical fight with each other while the children were present," Gonzales said.
"The home was alleged to be dirty and the children were said to be dirty, as well," Gonzales said. "A CPS caseworker went to the home and observed it to be clean and free of hazards.
"The children were clean and appropriately dressed. Allegations of neglect were ruled out."
Amphy, however, had already begun to develop a criminal record in Dallas, according to Dallas County jail records.
In February 2005 he was arrested for unlawful restraint and interfering with an emergency call. In March 2007 he was arrested for assault causing bodily injury.
This year, he was arrested for possession of marijuana in January and robbery in April, the records show.
Other charges from his arrest on Monday included resisting arrest, auto theft and possession of marijuana, according to records.
He was still being held Thursday at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center with bail set at $25,000, said Deputy Michael Ortiz, spokesman for the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.