By Ross Guidotti

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NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) – Empty heroin packets, children living in filthy conditions and a raccoon were found inside a New Kensington home on Monday.

Now, the children’s mother is facing multiple charges.

The front yard of the Freeport Road home is unkempt, and the structure itself has been declared unsafe for human habitation.

“I noticed the house was in disrepair, but I didn’t think it was as bad as that,” said neighbor Joel Gabelli.

According to New Kensington Police, the inside was far worse than the front yard.

Officers were first called to the home when the owner, 30-year-old Melani Gigliotti, was discovered wandering down the street while wrapped in a blanket. She was apparently under the influence of something and rambling about fighting raccoons in her home.

Gabelli says he’s known Gigliotti for a long time.

“We used to play on this block,” he says.

Inside Gigliotti’s home, police found that water, heat and electrical service had been cut off. Her two children were inside. It was 49 degrees outside at the time and the kids had no coats, no shoes, no socks and no clean clothes.

Also, empty heroin packets were within easy reach for the young children.

“It’s hard to comprehend,” said Gabelli.

The only food was some packets of uncooked noodles. Also, police spotted a raccoon inside on a stairwell.

“It’s heartbreaking and kind of scary to hear that it’s happening on my own block,” Gabelli said.

Gigliotti faces multiple charges, including endangering the welfare of a child and drug related counts. Both children are now in the care of Westmoreland County Children and Youth Services.

She is being held in the Westmoreland County Jail on $25,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 12.

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