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A South Salt Lake couple were charged Tuesday with child abuse and neglect after police found three youngsters, including one with severe autism, in an apartment littered with old food, feces, urine, pet food and cockroaches.

The 36-year-old man and his wife were charged in 3rd District Court with abuse or neglect of a disabled child, a third-degree felony; and two class A misdemeanor counts of child abuse. A probable-cause statement filed with the charges says an officer responding to a call of a child crying for several hours on Dec. 7 found three youngsters, ages 1, 2 and 4, inside the dirty residence wearing little clothing. According to the document, the older child is severely autistic.

The mother told the officer she had fallen asleep and was awakened by his knock on the door.

According to the probable-cause statement, the Salt Lake County Health Department closed the residence to occupancy on Dec. 11.

Arrest warrants were issued for both parents.

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