By Jack Fink

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Police arrested a father after they found four young children between the ages of two and five home alone and living in filthy conditions.

Robert Preston faces four counts of child abandonment-endangerment and remains in the Dallas County jail on $80,000 bail.

Authorities said he has two other children, ages six and nine, who were not in the apartment when officers showed up February 16.

Catherine Slade lives in the same apartment building behind Preston. “I’m shocked and disgusted and heartbroken.”

The arrest warrant affidavit says another resident in the complex called police after finding one of the three year old boys roaming the parking lot shivering.

When officers went inside Preston’s apartment they discovered he left the four children inside with the oven on. There wasn’t much food inside the apartment for the children to eat either, and there were no clean dishes and silverware.

Police also found “the floor was filthy, unkept, and there were bottles of various types of alcohol that were left open on the floor… the entire apartment reeked of feces, and the toilets of both bathrooms did not appear to have been flushed in weeks.. and that the children were referring to one another as Robert because they did not know their own names.”

After hearing the details, Slade said, “We were just crying. It just totally makes me sick someone could do something like that.”

She said from inside her apartment Slade could hear a child’s whistle being blown just about everyday but didn’t realize what was going on inside.

All of the children are in CPS custody, including two other children, ages six and nine, who weren’t at the apartment the day police showed up.

CPS isn’t allowed by law to say whether it received complaints before and had been involved with the family.

Slade asked, “How could no one have known that something like that was going on? It’s like someone would have to have known something.”

CBS 11 News contacted the apartment complex to see if anyone filed complaints against Preston. His criminal history includes charges of aggravated robbery and assault.

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