DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — A soiled toddler wandering a street led to the discovery of a home so squalid that an officer had to step outside to vomit, police say.
- Police called out after 2-year-old found wandering alone
- Officers found his home full of bugs, rotting food, no running water
- Mom, grandmother charged with child neglect without great harm
Daytona Beach Police said officers responded to Pinewood Street on Friday morning after someone reported seeing a 2-year-old boy with a soiled diaper walking alone nearby.
The boy appeared to not have been bathed for several days.
When officers tracked down where the boy lived, the door to the home was open, and the boy's 18-year-old uncle was asleep in a bedroom, a police charging affidavit said.
Conditions inside the home were "beyond deplorable," police said. One officer said it was the worst case he'd seen in more than a decade in law enforcement.
The home had no running water, and the smell of rotting food, feces, and urine was overwhelming. Hundreds of dead and live bugs littered the house. Rotting meat, vegetables — some liquefying — were in the refridgerator, along with more bugs. Black mold covered the walls and furniture.
Another officer had to excuse themselves to vomit.
"The residence was extremely dangerous for an adult to reside in, much less a toddler," the affidavit said.
The 18-year-old reportedly had lived in these conditions as a minor, and although he's technically an adult, he'd been "subjected to the extremely poor living conditions... for several years." He told officers that he didn't think he'd taken a shower in about two months.
Officers determined that although he doesn't have any learning disabilities, he wasn't mentally or physically equipped to properly care for the toddler.
Officers made contact with the toddler's mother, Natasha Johnson, who told them she'd asked the 18-year-old to watch the toddler for her.
Johnson and her mother, Brelinda Rose (the toddler's grandmother) were arrested and charged with child neglect without great harm.
The toddler and an 11-year-old girl related to him were taken into custody of the Department of Children and Families.