PALM BAY, Fla. — Two girls covered in dirt and bug bites grazed outside of a home of filth in Palm Bay, eating grass, sticks and flowers because they were so hungry, according to the Palm Bay Police Department.
- Police say the children were filthy, smelled terrible
- The girls were also covered in sores, blisters
Two women, Corey Lee Rickards, 25, and Joanne Marie Hall, 77, were arrested after the children were taken into state custody.
Their relationships with the children, if any, were not disclosed in a Palm Bay Police Department report, which included several blacked-out sections.
The ages of the children were not released. They had had not been cleaned for an extended period of time and had sores and blisters surrounding their mouths, according to the report. Both received medical attention.
"A closer look at the girls revealed them to be in filthy and in a disgusting matter," a police report stated. "The girls had a foul odor emitting from their persons."
Rickards faces two charges of child neglect. Hall was charged with child neglect with great bodily harm.
They both remain at the Brevard County Jail, each held on $10,000 bond.
Police officers were dispatched to the park at 5 p.m. Saturday, after someone called in a report about two young children running through Holiday Park.
The caller said the children were covered in bug bites, dehydrated, needed baths and one had a soiled diaper. Officers found two children in an "extremely unkempt condition" when they arrived at 206 Holiday Park Blvd. NE.
They called the Florida Department of Children and Families after they realized the children were attempting to eat grass and sticks.
The only thing the children had eaten up to that point was toast. One child had a full diaper hanging to her knees.
When officers asked Hall to change the diaper, she did not, so an officer had to do it, a report confirmed.
An officer brought food from McDonald's after he "witnessed the girls so hungry that they resorted to eating flowers and grass."
Hall could not provide much information and could not recall many things, an officer reported. The mother of one girl was fishing and other was in Melbourne, Hall told police officers.
A DCF investigator said the house was covered in filth, smeared with human waste and had a foul odor.
Later, Rickards arrived and talked to the DCF investigator, saying she took full responsibility for bringing the children to Hall's residence but she had no other choice, stated the report.
She said Hall is capable of caring for the children but was just being lazy, according to the report.