SNELLVILLE, GA (KTRK) -- A couple in Gwinnett County, Georgia was arrested and lost custody of their children after an animal-control officer found an infant left alone in a minivan outside of the couple's home.
The couple left the van's doors wide open in cold conditions and was reportedly having sex inside their home, the Gwinnett Daily Post reports.
An animal control officer found the baby at around 1:30pm on Feb. 13 and decided to call police when no one answered the door. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Snellville Officer K.D. Adams waited outside with the child.
After persistent knocking, Katrina Marie Norman, 32, finally answered the door.
"I asked her why the infant was left unattended in the vehicle and why she did not answer the door earlier. She pointed at herself. I asked what she meant, then I realized that she was wearing a pink one-piece lace suit, (mostly naked) covering herself with a blanket," Officer Adams said.
Her husband Louis T. Cope, 23, also came to the door and told police he was unloading groceries from the van when Norman surprised him with lingerie. The couple insisted they did not leave the baby alone for more than a couple of minutes.
The police report says Cope told officers the couple did not have sex, but he did place a "collar on Katrina and told her to stay" while he went back to the van.
The couple's story conflicts with authorities who said the front door was locked. The first officer on scene also says he was waiting outside for almost 15 minutes before the couple answered the door.
Police say the home smelled like urine and feces, found trash thrown everywhere inside the home and noticed the fridge was full of spoiled food.
"The only possible groceries were pre-made sandwiches and soda," Adams said.
The parents also have two high-school aged children, a dog and "approximately three" cats. The children were placed into state custody.
Norman and Cope both face charges of child abuse and maintaining a disorderly house.
Police: Couple left baby alone in the cold to go have sex