Joplin couple's child endangerment charges dismissed

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Jun. 23—A Joplin couple charged last year with endangerment of their children due to alleged unsanitary conditions discovered inside their home got those charges dismissed Thursday in Jasper County Circuit Court.

The prosecutor's office dismissed felony counts of child endangerment that Mark and Caitlin Trease, both 26, were facing in light of the couple's compliance with parenting requirements of the Children's Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services.

The couple had been charged with two counts each of the offense following a child welfare check of their home conducted by police and state child abuse case workers on March 9, 2021, that discovered piles of trash, spoiled food, dead animals and human feces strewn about their residence, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Their two children appeared malnourished to investigators and their bedding and bedroom walls were found to be smeared with dried feces, according to the affidavit.

The document indicates that it was the second time the couple had been referred to Social Services regarding unsanitary conditions in their home.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.