5 Children in DCF Custody – Woman Charged with Neglect
SPRING HILL – U.S. 19 is commonly referred to as U.S. “Die way” 19 for those who travel the highway on a regular basis but for pedestrians, it’s nothing less than a game of Russian roulette. Allowing a child to cross the busy thoroughfare unsupervised would be tantamount to child neglect and that’s exactly what a local woman is charged with, after five children she was caring for tried to visit Weeki Wachee Springs – alone.
According to officials, Hernando County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the area of U.S. 19 in front of the Motel 6 regarding a Suspicious Incident.
Dispatchers received a call from a concerned motorist who had observed five very small children attempting to cross the highway to get to Weeki Wachee Springs. The motorist was able to stop the children before they entered into the lanes of traffic.
Officials say the children were too young to provide their names and/or who their parents were. In addition, all of the children were wearing heavily soiled diapers.
The youngest child, a female, had a severe rash on various parts of her body. Fire Rescue responded to the scene to evaluate the child, where they determined that the rash appeared to be several weeks old.
After being on scene for over 30 minutes, deputies were approached by 24-year-old Samantha McCarthy. McCarthy told deputies that she had been sleeping and did not realize the children had left the room. She went on to say that the door was locked and that she had no idea how they could have gotten out. Those children are ages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
When deputies asked McCarthy about the rash, she advised that it had been there for two to three days and had not been treated but planned to seek treatment later that day. Deputies confirmed that McCarthy had no mode of transportation and had made no appointment to have the child seen by a physician.
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) responded to the scene and placed all of the children into protective custody. The one year girl was transported to a local hospital for treatment of the rash. Her condition is unknown at this time.
McCarthy is charged with Child Neglect and is currently free on $5,000 bond.
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