Police in East Naples, Fla. arrested a 44-year-old woman on Feb. 5 who was passed out and apparently living in a storage locker with her toddler son. Although it’s alarming enough that the woman and child were living in a storage locker, it’s even more alarming still that the unit was described by police as “deplorable.”
Police found “a gray, plastic bucket with its lid partially secured, in the center of the unit, where the child was playing. Deputies said they opened the container to find it full of feces, flies and gnats.”
According to Horne’s arrest report, police also found:
… a microwave, a TV, a fan, an ash tray full of cigarette butts and large, empty, liquor bottles.
The only food found was a small stack of crackers.
Reportedly, there was no water or anything found in the storage locker for the toddler to drink.
A concerned citizen who heard the cries of a child from inside one of the closed storage units at Cube Smart Storage contacted the property manager for that facility who was able to open the door of the unit just enough to see a toddler within.
The property manager offered the child a drink of water. The property manager said:
… the child ran to him and drank all of the water, as if he hadn't had fluids for an extended period of time. The manager called several times into the unit, but no one answered.
Emergency medical personal were called and evaluated the child on the spot. Except for a small injury above his eye brow, the child was deemed to be fine.
Firefighters entered the storage unit to find the mother passed out. Paramedics on the scene were able to wake her up.
They said she was disheveled and smelled of alcohol.
Horne told police that she and the child had only been staying at the locker for a few days while waiting for someone named “Rick” to pick them up. Police were able to contact Rick, who said he had no interest in helping the woman and her child.
The toddler was placed into the care of the Department of Children and Families.
The mother was escorted to the Naples Jail Center.
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