CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Cape Coral Police arrested 20-year-old Vanessa Greenwell yesterday for child neglect, after they said they discovered she and her child were living in a home filled with roaches, trash, and dog urine and feces.
While conducting narcotics surveillance at the home on the 4300 block of Santa Barbara Blvd. S., a detective reportedly saw Greenwell leave the residence at 4:00 p.m., leaving her daughter in the care of a man, suspected to be her boyfriend. The man worked on a car for several hours, as the child played in the yard and on the driveway, near the busy street.
At 8:00 p.m. detectives served a search warrant, using K-9 and SWAT units. At that time, police said the man left the child in the front yard to meet someone at SW 44th St. to conduct a narcotics transaction. On the way back, the man realized police were at the residence and fled the scene on a bicycle, leaving the child in the yard. The subject could not be apprehended.
Police said the child was found dirty and shoeless outside. They entered the home and found it to be in deplorable condition, with roaches and insects crawling on the floors and furniture. The residence reportedly smelled of urine and feces. Two dogs were later found inside. According to the arrest report, one bedroom was filled wall-to-wall with dog feces and urine, and the rest of the residence was covered with trash.
Officers said they found a digital scale with marijuana residue and other drug paraphernalia in the kitchen, within reach of the child. Empty bags with marijuana residue were allegedly found in another bedroom.
Police contacted Greenwell, who returned to the residence.
According to the report, Greenwell said she and the child had lived at the residence for about a month, but had no involvement in any drug activity. She allegedly said she was aware of the deplorable conditions, but had no where else to go. She reportedly admitted to having family members nearby, whom she chose not to live with.
Greenwell told officers that when she left at 4:00 p.m., she had gone to work and trusted her boyfriend to care for the child in her absense.
After speaking with Greenwell, police found that she failed to provide the child with care, supervision and services necessary to maintain her child's physical and mental health.
DCF was contacted and a family member arrived on the scene to take custody of the child.