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|Health Department's Role in Abingdon House Survey Done
|Knox County Health Department officials say they have completed their investigation of a house in Abingdon where police say they found dead animals inside last week.
Officers from the Abingdon Police Department were called to the residence at 606 West Monmouth Street July 3rd to investigate a domestic disturbance. When police entered the home to search for a suspect, they say they discovered several cats and dogs that were deceased.
Police contacted the Knox County Health Department to survey the residence.
Michele Fishburn, Director of Community Health Improvement for the department, tells WGIL officials did that earlier this week, but they can't yet release their findings.
"Environmental Health staff went out, did their consultation, completed their report and sent it to the city for their review. Right now, it's our understanding that there are legal matters going on so at this time we don't release anything to the community or make it public record until they do so. So right now we've been referring people to the city."
Fishburn says the health department, when called out to a property to investigate a complaint, only acts in an advisory capacity to assist the local government in the investigation.
She says the health department's next step is to wait and see what happens with the case and to make themselves available for the local government or if court proceedings take place.
Fishburn says right now, the health department's role in the matter is done.
Police Chief Fred Andrews said Wednesday that the city attorney, Jack Ball, was working to obtain a search warrant for the residence. The warrant was executed Friday afternoon as several volunteers from the fire department wearing haz-mat suits removed more dead animals from the home.
Two residents there, 31-year old Michael Geier and his wife 28-year old Rebecca Johnson-Geier, are facing animal cruelty and endangering the life/health of a child counts. Michael Geier is facing additional charges of domestic battery and interfering with a domestic violence report. Two children living at the home, Andrews said he believed were ages 8 and 10, were taken into protective custody and placed with other family members.
Rebecca Johnson-Geier was released from jail on $300 bond last Saturday. She posted her husband's $500 bond for him on Thursday.
It's not clear what happens with the house next.
|07 10 09 by Newsroom
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