Highly religious Colorado Springs is sometimes referred to as “the Evangelical Vatican.” Like any other city, the place has its share of crime and misery, often inflicted by the faithful themselves. Such is the case here (courtesy of the Denver Post):
The mother of a 13-year-old boy who police say was living in a home littered with human feces has been placed on administrative leave from her part-time job at a church nursery.
Sharon Starkey [right], who was cited Thursday for child neglect along with her husband, former Colorado Springs Councilman Charles Wingate [left], worked at the First United Methodist Church of Colorado Springs nursery on a “very part-time” and “as needed” basis, Leanne Schreiner, director of administration and finance, said in a statement.
Starkey has been a long-time member of the church congregation.
Police went to Starkey and Wingate’s home just after noon Thursday after a neighbor reported not seeing their son in about a year. Police found the boy naked and alone in filth.
The Gazette reports it’s even worse than that:
Police found the boy, described by officers as “autistic,” living in what they called extremely unsanitary conditions, which included live and dead rodents in the residence.
“The boy stated he is an only child, home-schooled, and does not remember ever being outside the house. Neighbors confirmed they have not seen the boy outside in several years,” police said in a news release.
Police said code enforcement condemned the house as unsafe for living.
Wingate’s two-year stint as a councilman was unremarkable except for his unlawful and unethical behavior.
Wingate was a Colorado Springs City Council member from 2001 until his resignation in 2003.
He left office under a cloud following accusations of embezzlement, forgery and fraud,
and pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement of public funds shortly after quitting the job.
He was ordered to jail in 2006, after a judge found he violated probation in the case.