EAST NAPLES, Fla.- Collier County Sheriff's deputies arrested Wendi Horne, 44, for child neglect after she and her son were found living in a storage unit in deplorable conditions.
A tenant reported hearing screaming coming from inside a unit at Cube Smart Storage, located on Airport-Pulling Rd. The property manager was able to open the door enough to see a young child and offer him water. He 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.
Firefighters arrived and assessed the child, who was safe, but had a small injury over his right eye brow. They entered the storage unit to find Horne passed out in a make-shift living area, made of dressers and mattresses. They said she was disheveled and smelled of alcohol.
Deputies arrived and entered the storage unit. They said they were met with a strong odor of feces, and 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.
They 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, according to the arrest report.
Horne allegedly told deputies she and the child were only staying there temporarily and were waiting for someone to pick them up. Deputies were able to contact that person, who told them he had no interest in helping Horne.
The Department of Children and Familes was called, and Horne was taken to the Naples Jail Center without incident.