Walworth County prosecutors say a former town of Whitewater woman neglected a young and underweight child after county officials found the child was bathed using rain water and was able to access bags of fecal matter, medication and cigarette butts in a camper on an abandoned farm.
Rachel S. Albright, 31, who updated her address to 840 N. Wisconsin St., No. 113, Elkhorn, pleaded not guilty Oct. 5 to a charge of felony neglecting a child, court records show.
A Walworth County Department of Health & Human Services worker on Sept. 11 went to Albright’s former home at N8865 Clover Valley Road, where she lived in a camper under farm buildings that are in “various states of dilapidation,” the criminal complaint states. The roof over the camper where Albright stayed was falling apart.
The worker reported extension cords ran from the camper belonging to Albright’s father to where Albright stayed, according to the complaint filed Sept. 25. When it rains, Albright said her father gets “mildly electrocuted” because “there is something wrong with the electrical or something.”
Albright told the worker she bathed the child in a sandbox using rain water or water from a nearby city pump, the complaint states.
Albright and her father defecated into bags and put them in an area in the barn to be burned later, according to the complaint. The child had access to this area.
Outside the camper, the worker also reported finding children’s toys, a lean-to with broken glass and inoperable vehicles, the complaint states.
The 3-year-old child is not potty-trained and does not speak, according to the complaint.
Albright told the worker she stopped the child from participating in birth-to-3 services from the county’s health department because she was depressed, according to the complaint.
Albright has on her record a 2011 conviction for misdemeanor child neglect.
The criminal complaint in that case states Albright did not adequately feed a newborn baby in 2010. The baby was diagnosed with failure to thrive that appeared to come from “inadequate calorie intake.”
After that child was taken to the hospital and gained 1 pound and 1 ounce in 48 hours under doctor’s care, Albright told a department of human services worker, “You’re overfeeding the baby, and you are going to make her fat,” according to court documents.
Albright told the worker she would not change how she fed the child despite what medical professionals told her, the complaint states.
Albright is next scheduled to appear in court at 1:15 p.m. Dec. 4 for a status conference.