Mother of girls taken from filthy home re-arrested, this time for lying

The mother of two girls rescued earlier this week from a filthy, insect-ridden home has been taken back into custody after a judge determined that she had lied in her bond hearing.

Anne Cardona claimed at Monday's hearing that she had to return to her Marietta bungalow to care for her mother. But the 35-year-old woman's mother had been removed from the Dogwood Drive residence, along with Cardona's two daughters, earlier that day after Cobb County Police issued arrest warrants on child cruelty charges. The judge was not aware at the time that authorities had taken Cardona's mother to a local hospital.

Cardona was re-arrested Thursday night and is being held without bail at the Cobb County jail. Her husband, James Cardona, has not posted bond and remains behind bars.

The couple's girls, ages 5 and 4, were discovered living in squalor and dangerously overweight. Their grandmother, meanwhile, was suffering from serious bed sores, said Tahnicia Phillips, warrant division supervisor for the Cobb County Sheriff's Department.

According to warrants obtained from the Cobb magistrate, the couple's 5-year-old daughter -- hair matted in tangles with lice "large enough to see while standing above the child" -- weighs 158 pounds, more than 100 pounds above normal for her age. According to police on the scene she couldn't walk 10 feet without wheezing. Her 4-year-old sister was discovered in a urine-soaked diaper, sucking a bottle. She weighs more than twice the average for a girl her age. The girls have been moved into state care, along with Anne Cardona's mother, who remains hospitalized.

Both kids lived in a house teeming with cockroaches and "giant spiders," according to the warrants. The girls have been taken into state care while their grandmother is currently being treated at Kennestone Hospital.

The Cardonas are charged with felony child cruelty and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor. They've been ordered to have no contact with their daughters.

Staff from the Cobb County Center for Environmental Health visited the home and issued a "notice of violation" giving the Cordonas 30 days to remove trash from the property.

"While we can issue notices for issues that impact environmental conditions, we don’t have jurisdiction over people’s living conditions inside their homes," said spokeswoman Darlene M. Foote.

--Staff writer Craig Schneider contributed to this report