Inside house of horrors where 'mum and boyfriend locked boys in windowless faeces-covered room full of bugs & rubbish' | The Sun

TWO young boys escaped a house of horrors where their mum and her boyfriend kept them locked in a windowless and faeces-covered bedroom.

Katie Koch and her boyfriend Joel Manke were arrested after the brothers, seven and nine, smashed a window to escape naked, bruised and bloodied from the house.

Cops described the house where they'd been living in Milwaukee as "the worst they've ever seen".

A police report seen by The Messenger described the home as filled with piles of rubbish and insects crawling around.

The bedroom where Koch, 34 and Manke, 38, kept the boys had boarded up windows and a lock on the outside of the door.

Faces covered the floor and was "all over the walls" and cops described a "terrible hoarding situation".



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Horrifying pictures showed the blocked windows and curtains covered in mould and faeces.

A police officer said: "I entered the living room and observed a terrible hoarding situation – it was hard to see the floor.

"The smell of urine and faeces stained the air within the residence.

"The door was opened halfway, and a greater amount of the stench of urine and faeces seemed to get worse as I approached the children's room."

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Shockingly, cops said Manke's "man cave"was kept in a better state than the rest of the house.

"[It was] treated in a higher amount of respect and cleanliness compared to the children's living conditions in their bedroom," the report read.

After he made a call from jail after his arrest to his mother, she reportedly told him she was "in shock" after visiting the revolting home.

Manke told police he had to "pick his battles" with girlfriend Koch despite knowing the children were living in horrific conditions.

He also apparently said Koch had never taken them to school.

Koch reportedly told investigators she was homeschooling them but  "admitted that the home is not habitable," and said "her boys deserve better".

Cops said the boys seemed to have been living in squalor for so many years they had not been to a doctor or had a haircut since 2019.

They were also reportedly not toilet-trained.

Witnesses described them as behaving like "cavemen who had never seen the sun".

Neighbours said they saw Koch's children peering out from a smashed window on July 13, before climbing out and escaping down the street.

Their hair was described as being matted with faeces as they walked down the street naked.

Local resident Christine Eder, said they looked like "they had never been outside".

"They were just walking different. Their hair looked like it had never been brushed, never been cut. They didn't know the outside existed."

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Mallory Davis told ABC: "These children have been horribly damaged from their mother's actions. They are completely uneducated.

"They are not potty trained, even at their ages. They are, essentially at this point, unable to function in society."

Koch had shared pictures on social media with her boyfriend and of the family, apparently living a normal and happy life as she allegedly kept them holed up in the house of horrors.

The 34-year-old mother has been in jail since July 15, two days after the boys escaped according to the Milwaukee Journal.

She has reportedly been charged with the chronic neglect of a child, false imprisonment and neglecting a child.

If the couple are convicted of the charges held against them, they could face up to 43 years in prison each as well as hefty fines.

Both are due to appear in court at the end of November and have plead not guilty.

Manke has reportedly lived in the house since 2007 and Koch told cops she moved in with her children about four years ago, ABC reports.

Apparently some of the neighbours who were interviewed didn't even know the children lived there.

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