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Child rescued from bug-infested SUV was at risk of drug exposure, police say

Parents face child neglect charges

David Dexter and Christan Wilson
David Dexter and Christan Wilson

ORLANDO, Fla. – Two parents were arrested after officers rescued their 2-year-old child from a filthy vehicle containing drugs and an infestation of insects, according to the DeLand Police Department.

Authorities noticed a vehicle Tuesday with its engine off stationed in a small park, where the temperature was 104 degrees. Police said 30-year-old David Dexter was in the driver's seat of the silver Ford Explorer and 28-year-old Christan Wilson in the passenger seat. 

Wilson and Dexter's 2-year-old child, who was wearing a soiled diaper that sagged nearly to her knees, was walking freely around the vehicle amid filth, insects and drugs, according to an arrest affidavit.

After Dexter was removed from the vehicle, police said they found an uncapped syringe containing an opioid located on the right side of the driver's seat, where his child could have easily stepped on it.

Five empty syringe cases, a green fabric arm band, plastic straws containing a white powdery residue, a glass pipe with cannabis residue and a plastic bag containing syringe caps were found in Wilson's purse, the report said.

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According to the affidavit, roaches were crawling across the car seats and around spoiled food containers amid dirty diapers and soiled clothing.

Records also show that the child had numerous red scabs covering her legs. An open wound on the child's neck had drawn small insects, but did not require medical treatment, according to DeLand Fire Department Personnel.

Dexter claimed his daughter got the injury by bumping into someone holding a lit cigarette while walking in downtown DeLand, but he did not believe the wound required medical attention, police said.

Both parents were arrested on charges of possession of paraphernalia, possession of a Schedule II substance and child neglect. They are being held at the Volusia County Jail.