CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Charlotte County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit detectives Wednesday arrested four adults on Child Neglect charges for failure to clean up their home after the Department of Children & Families took custody of the children Sep. 4. The children are between the ages of 1-3 years old. (1, 2, 2, 2, 3).
DCF investigated child neglect complaints Sep. 4 at 22363 Midway Blvd., Port Charlotte, about the deplorable conditions in the home where the five kids lived with their parents and two uncles. DCF said the home was infested with roaches, spiders and bugs. The report also said garbage was all over the home and included food, feces, dirty diapers and soiled linens. The children appeared to be malnourished, filthy and dirty, and all had bug bites. A dead rat was located under a bed mattress. Due to the conditions found, DCF took custody of the children then, and placed all with a relative. The four were ordered to clean up the home.
On Sep. 9, DCF went back to the home and requested CCSO obtain more information and to pass on to MCU detectives. Yesterday, MCU detectives went to the residence and met with Kaela Aleetha Demler, 23, (Parent), Lawson A. Wilcox, 24, (Parent), and two uncles of the children, Walter Lee Wilcox, 35, and 35 year old Dennis A. Wilcox. All have lived at this home the past four years.
Detectives documented living conditions now and were advised by the adults that since the children were removed from the home they had, “thrown away a lot of stuff inside the house.” Detectives found a very large pile of trash outside the home but inside was still roach infested, dirty, soiled and unlivable. The detectives report also stated, “There have been over 16 cases with DCF and they gave the adults time to rectify the conditions in the home, to no avail.” Detectives further stated, “They all had shared control and custody of the children and all contributed to the conditions in the home that the children were made to live in. Due to the conditions of the home while the children were living there, and now, probable cause existed for their arrests. All four were transported to the Charlotte County Jail with no bond, pending first appearance this morning.