Maplewood Parents Charged After Toddler Found in 'Uninhabitable' Home

Updated: 02/07/2013 6:33 PM By: Leslie Dyste

A couple is charged with neglect of a child in Ramsey County.

Twenty-six-year-old Clayton Johnson was charged with neglect of a child, and assault in the fourth degree, while 26-year-old Rebecca Koecher was charged with neglect of a child.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called out to a Maplewood home Feb. 4 after a landlord reported a tenant was drunk and banging on his backdoor.

Before knocking on Johnson's door they could smell an odor of something rotting. As Johnson opened the door, he fell out of the home. Officers said Johnson smelled strongly of alcohol.

Officers asked where Johnson's 22-month son was and he eventually said his son was inside with Koecher.

Johnson began to swear and yell at officers. Officers handcuffed him and put him in the squad.

Officers say the smell inside the home was so overwhelming they had trouble breathing.

Officers found Koecher passed out on a bed near the toddler. There was a fifth of vodka on the floor by the bed. Officers didn't think it was safe to leave her with her son, and she was taken to detox while the boy was taken to Children's Hospital.

According to the complaint, the home was covered in dirty laundry. Pans were left in the sink with rotting food in them, and the toilet appeared to be plugged.

Dirty diapers were littered across the living space, and used tampons were scattered across the bathroom floor.

The Maplewood Health Officer later declared the building to be a health nuisance and uninhabitable. 

Johnson threw a punch at an officer as they took him to detox.

He had four prior felony convictions.