- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (AP) - A mother and grandmother authorities allege fled to New York City rather than face arraignment on child endangerment charges for allowing their 7-year-old girl to live in their squalid home have been arraigned.

Thirty-two-year-old Kristen Paquette and 54-year-old Debra Paquette were held on $20,000 bail during a court appearance Friday.

Arrest warrants were issued for the women after they failed to show up for arraignment Tuesday. They were charged after Kristen Paquette’s 7-year-old daughter was found living in what authorities described as a vermin-infested, trash-strewn Newburyport home.

The girl, described as safe and healthy, is in the custody of Massachusetts child welfare officials.

Lawyers for the women say notice of the arraignment was sent to the home after it had been condemned and the Paquettes evicted.

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