Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania TV station WPXI (Channel 11) reports that a woman was so addicted to online computer gaming that she neglected her six kids and house for years.
Tuesday's Channel 11 report didn't state how Uniontown police discovered the unsanitary situation. Officer Mike Garrow Sr. indicated that the neglect was the result of Elizabeth Ruffner's addiction to online PC gaming. He didn't provide an actual list of titles that fed her alleged addiction, yet Channel 11 displayed footage of a Grand Theft Auto game in its video report anyway, claiming it to be one of many.
According to Garrow, Ruffner's six children--all under the age of 11-- lived in filth and animal waste as she sat glued behind the PC monitor. "There was no food in the cupboards," the officer said. "The bedrooms had mattresses on the floor with no sheets or pillows. It looked like they got these mattresses out of the junk yard. They were just filthy."
Ruffner wasn't the only adult living in the house. As the TV reporter and cameraman were shooting footage of the Mifflin Avenue home on Tuesday, husband and step-father James Boord came out and spoke in a brief interview.
"I've been working, and I couldn't have been home to take care of them [during the day]," he claimed. "I cleaned them. I gave them their baths at nighttime for school. I cleaned up after them. It just became too much for me to do."
Ruffner was "unavailable" for questioning.
Police said that the stepfather did make an effort to take care of the children and maintain the house. Eventually it became too hard for Boord to handle all six children alone. There's a good chance Boord approached someone in regards to pulling his wife away from her obsessive gaming, thus triggering a call to the Department of Social Services who in turn now have custody of all six children.
Garrow told Channel 11 that the Uniontown police department is currently planning to file felony child endangerment charges-- it's unclear whether Boord will be included.
Ruffner allegedly still has her computer.