Toddler found shivering on stranger's porch near Daytona Beach

Baby sitter Candace Long was passed out drunk, Volusia deputies say

Author: Daniel Dahm, Managing Editor of ClickOrlando.com, ddahm@clickorlando.com
Published On: Jan 07 2014 09:51:02 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 07 2014 05:54:38 PM EST
Candace Long
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -

A baby sitter was arrested after, according to deputies, she was found drunk and passed out on the porch of a stranger's Volusia County home with a 2-year-old boy who was only wearing wet shorts and a T-shirt in freezing temperatures.

Candace Long, 28, was arrested early Tuesday on charges of child neglect.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, deputies were called around 1:30 a.m. to a home near Daytona Beach after receiving a report about a toddler found shivering on the porch in 39-degree weather.

The resident said they didn't know the barefoot boy or the woman with him.

"I didn't recognize the girl, I didn't recognize the boy just a small little kid," said Tom Fordham, who discovered the two on the back porch of his sister's home at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. "I didn't have any idea about her. She didn't say anything. Didn't stir didn't move a muscle."

Deputies said Long was extremely inebriated and didn't know where she was or the name of the boy.

"Mostly I was concerned cause that little kid shouldn't be out that time of night," Fordham said.

The Sheriff's Office tracked down the child's family, who said Long had been asked by the child's father to watch the boy.  The boy was returned to family members and was not harmed, deputies said.

When Long woke up, she was incoherent and muttering that she was drunk because it was her birthday, according to deputies, who later learned that Long and the child had come from a house about two blocks away.

Long told a judge at her first appearance on Tuesday that she had done nothing wrong.

"I really didn't do anything," she said. "It was my birthday yesterday."

Long also said that she wasn't babysitting.

Deputies arrested Long and booked her into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach. Long was previously arrested over the past few years for criminal mischief, battery on a law enforcement officer, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest.