Woman arrested, 3 removed from home after deplorable conditions found in Jersey City

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
EMBED <>More Videos

Toni Yates reports on the deplorable conditions at one home in Jersey City.

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A woman is under arrest after a disturbing discovery in Jersey City.

Her two children and her 83-year-old mother had to be removed from their home because it was just too dirty to live in.

"I honestly didn't see anything like this coming," said neighbor Heather Rosario. "Her children were out every day, they were perfectly fine."

But members of the city's quality of life task force had to go inside the home, and what they found was deplorable conditions and a major flea infestation.

"From simply walking down the street, a person would be covered in flies and fleas and mosquitoes," said municipal prosecutor Jake Hudnut.

Nine dogs were removed, suffering from mites, fleas and skin conditions, while reeking of feces and urine.

Two boys, ages 12 and 16, who were said to be home-schooled, were also subjected to the squalor along with their grandmother.

Authorities said she was in such poor health, they had to make sure she was alive.

"It was definitely not a place that was safe for children to live," said Hudnut. "It was not safe for a senior to live and it was not safe for the nine animals that we found."

The mother of the children, 45-year-old Bernadette Bisogno, was arrested on two counts of child endangerment and one count of elderly abuse.

Her family was sent to the appropriate agencies to meet their critical needs. Bisogno was taken to the county jail.

The animals were sent to Liberty Humane Society, where they hope to ready them for adoption. Rosario said that when she would see Bisogno outdoors in her garden, nothing appeared to be out of sorts.

"I stop here everyday, I garden with her and she's given me tips on gardening and everything. Never seen a problem like that," she said.

Owners of the building next door had an exterminator out spraying to continue to get flea and fly issues under control. The city said the family is getting the services it needs, thanks to neighbors who finally decided there had to be a bigger issue there.

"Without them phoning this in to our residents response center, we would never have been able to get inside, or to know to go inside," said Hudnut.


* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube