In December police arrested Joel and Laura Frederickson on felony neglect charges and turned over their children to child protective services. Police say they discovered the couple's three little girls were living in a home heavily infested with cockroaches.
Joel and Laura Frederickson appeared in Gibson Superior Court Thursday. The judge told them there is a possibility their charges will be dropped in September -- but they have to prove they're good parents first. The grandmother of the three little girls tells Eyewitness News their parents are doing everything they can to fight for their kids.
Alice Halstead says it still pains her to remember the day child services took away her three grandchildren. "When that happened it was like a piece of me was torn apart," says Halstead. Halstead's daughter, Laura Frederickson, and her husband, Joel Frederickson, were living with Halstead in her Oakland City home when police said the house was too filthy for children.
Indiana State Police say Halstead's house was infested with roaches and a child's bed was covered by more than 100 cockroaches. Police say they originally discovered the bug-infested home when they were serving an arrest warrant on another man who lived there. Police say that man is a sex offender who allegedly failed to register in Vanderburgh County.
Halstead says the couple is living in a new -- and clean -- home. "Them two learned a lot since then. They picked up for themselves. They showed them that they have a place, they have a job, and they can provide for their kids," says Halstead.
Halstead says her three grandchildren have been reunited with their parents, but they're no longer allowed in her home. "It hurts. It hurts real hard. But I told them maybe things will look up. Maybe things will change. Maybe they'll let them come back in and see grandma."
Halstead says she's worked hard to clean her house, to try to make it an appropriate environment for her grandchildren. "We cleaned it all up. We put new carpet down. We sprayed it. Everything is gone," says Halstead.
Although she wishes her grandchildren could visit her, Halstead says she's happy the kids are once again living with her daughter.
"[The kids] are doing great. They're playin'. They're doin' active things with them more," says Halstead. "You knew that there was an empty spot in their hearts and that wasn't there, and they would do anything to keep their babies and get 'em back. And they proved it. I think they proved it."
Halstead says a fourth baby is on the way. Her daughter, Laura Frederickson, is expecting a boy in July.
Joel and Laura Frederickson declined to comment on their case.