PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- A Charlotte County Sheriff's deputy this morning arrested a grandmother for child neglect who has custody of her six-year-old grandson after finding their home in “absolute squalor.”
CCSO received a call at 12:12 a.m. of a possibly burglary in progress at 22227 Bahama Avenue in Port Charlotte; two persons were seen climbing through a rear window with flashlights. When deputies arrived they located Erin M. Mahoney, 26, the mother of the child, and a neighbor Paolo Guiseppe Mannino, 34, inside the home of Donna Jean Mahoney. It was confirmed the two were authorized to be in the home since the front door was locked, they entered a rear window.
Deputies said, “Upon entry there was an immediate and overpowering smell of dog urine and feces, there was no running water and every room was found profoundly filthy, cluttered and smelled.” A large pit bull and a small chow were in the home along with dried dog excrement and urine on the floors of every room. Deputies also stated, “Clothing was found next to or on top of excrement. Pathways throughout the rooms were filthy; the kitchen had dirty dishes and trash on the counter, in the sink, and on the floor. The refrigerator revealed outdated items and had a distinct odor of decaying food. Searching the kitchen area amid the trash and mess I could not find any fresh foodstuff at all.”
Also found were several used syringes in the home; one in the bathroom was on top of the sink within easy reach of anyone. CCSO Watch Commander Lt. Randy Horner described the conditions in the home as, “The worst I ever seen in 27 years of law enforcement.”
Deputies said Erin Mahoney, the boy’s mother, was acting strangely; slurring her words and was very defensive about deputies being in their home. She told deputies she was under the influence of bath salts. Donna Mahoney was asked where her grandson was and she said she had no idea. Erin Mahoney was asked where her son was and she said he was at a neighbors. Deputies went to the home and found the boy sleeping on a couch in the living room, fully clothed, and wearing sneakers with dog excrement on the bottom of the soles.
The Department of Children and Families was called and confirmed Donna Mahoney had legal custody of her grandson. Upon arrival, DCF immediately removed the boy from her custody. Donna Mahoney was arrested for Child Neglect and transported to the Charlotte County Jail where she remains on $5,000 bond. Mannino was also taken into custody on an outstanding probation violation warrant; he remains in jail on $550 bond. Animal Control was called to remove the two dogs.