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Parents arrested after authorities find children living in filth

Posted on April 21, 2015 5:00 PM EST

A North Miami couple was arrested after authorities discovered that their three young children were living in deplorable and unhealthful conditions.

Authorities were sent to the home on a tip. What police found inside the home were piles of garbage ankle high, and human feces throughout the North Miami home. One of the children was laying on a bed without any bedding and only a plastic cover; the mattress was covered in mold and feces.

Now the parents are facing three counts of child neglect. Authorities are accusing the couple of willfully neglecting their three daughters. However, the mother’s sister believes that the condition of the home can be explained.

The sister of the woman arrested said that since the girls’ mother lost her job, she’s been depressed, and she has been very overwhelmed.

Neighbors were surprised to hear about the arrests. Though they didn’t see the family often, they did say that whenever they did see the children outside, they were dressed nicely, their hair was brushed, and they appeared normal.

The parents do not have a criminal record, and no prior history of neglect. Some are hoping that the criminal charges will lead to the family getting some help.

What are the penalties for child neglect in Florida?In Florida, child neglect is covered under Sec. 827.03 of the Florida Statutes. While this section covers abuse and aggravated abuse, Sec. (e) defines child “neglect” as: the failure or omission to provide a child with care, supervision, and the services to maintain a child’s physical and mental health.

This section includes, but is not limited to:
  • Food
  • Nutrition
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Medicine
Under this section, neglect of a child may be based on an isolated incident or omission, or by repeated conduct that results in, or could reasonably be expected to result in a serious mental or physical injury, or a significant risk of death of the child.

When a person willfully neglects a child without causing great bodily harm to the child, they commit a felony of the third degree, punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
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