Mother of children shot during gunfight faces neglect charges

Octavia Burton
Octavia Burton

A 25-year-old Milwaukee woman is facing child neglect charges after police searched her house as part of a shooting investigation.

City workers say they discovered cockroaches and feces throughout the home.

Police say two of Octavia Burton’s seven children suffered gunshot wounds July 23rd.

Burton, her boyfriend and the two children were in a van and police say the boyfriend got into a fight with others in the neighborhood.

Shots were fired, and the two children were hit.

Their injuries were not life threatening.

Milwaukee police investigating the shooting went to Burton’s home and found conditions they considered unlivable.

According to the criminal complaint, upon entering the residence, officers noted a strong odor of dog urine and feces through the entire residence.

The criminal complaint indicates that officers observed insect infestation in every room. Additionally, officials noted that they located a mattress in a closet which was covered in well over 100 insects, including roaches.

Officials also discovered both old and fresh dog feces in a metal crate, a pantry and a stairwell.The complaint indicates the living room floor was covered with ten garbage bags, which were filled with dirty clothes and insects.

Within minutes of entering the residence, a DOC agent terminated the search due to the overpowering smell.

The Department Of Neighborhood Services agreed, quickly condemning and boarding-up the property Friday.

“No, it was very definitively not inhabitable due to some of the conditions inside”, said Erica Lewandowski, Department of Neighborhood Services

Lewandowski says the inspector didn’t take long to condemn the house.

Milwaukee police photos support the complaint, charging Burton with child neglect of six of her kids, ranging from 2 to 11 years old,  and her boyfriend’s 11 year old child.

“The toilets were not functioning. They were not usable, and one of the bathtubs was full with black old, dirty water, and was unable to be used,” said Lewandowski.

Lewandowski says those violations alone would’ve been enough to board up the house, but they didn’t stop there.

“In this case, due to the conditions that we found, being that it was unsanitary, it did have a roach infestation, as well as feces throughout the home,” said Lewandowski.

The defective plumbing, the lack of smoke detectors, the lack of carbon monoxide detectors, and an obstructed egress, it clearly rose to the level where we just could not leave the individuals in the property.”

The children have been taken into protective custody.

Burton faces up to nine months in prison for each child abuse charge.

She has not commented on the case.

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