NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "It's really a shock to us that this wasn't noticed earlier by other people," Plaquemines Parish District Attorney Charles Ballay said.
Back in March, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, NCIS, was alerted to the death of a 3-month-old baby girl on base at the Belle Chasse Naval Air Station.
"It died in its crib. A set of twins were in it together, and it's a pack-and-play type of crib. The baby died from being face down in the corner of the mattress of whatever the lining is," Ballay said.
The baby girl had a twin sister and four other siblings. All of the children were under the care of their parents, 26-year-old Xavier Houston and his wife, Calendria.
Ballay said the investigation revealed severe neglect in the home.
"The children were grossly underweight and malnourished. The children were not able to do things that they could normally do like walk, turn over or other things," Ballay said.
It's believed malnutrition and neglect led to the baby's death.
"The child had very little fluids, very little. The weight and health was extremely poor," Ballay said.
He says all of the children - two sets of twins, a 3-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy - lived in filth.
Xavier Houston is a Naval aviation mechanic. The sailor entered the Navy in 2013 and had been in New Orleans since February of last year.
Ballay said Calendria was the main caretaker of the children, although, he said Xavier knew exactly what was happening in the home.
On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted both for second-degree murder and six counts of cruelty to juveniles.
The couple remains locked up in the Plaquemines Parish Jail. They'll be arraigned June 22.