Father left kids in 'deplorable' conditions, Palm Bay police say

Cops: Infestation of cockroaches, trash, cigarette butts found all over home

Local 6 News at 5:30p
Local 6 News at 5:30p

PALM BAY, Fla. – A Brevard County father was arrested on felony child neglect charges Monday after allegedly making his children live in deplorable conditions.

It was inside of a home on Creel Street in Palm Bay where police say Jonathan Nethercutt, 34, badly neglected his three children.

"When we got there, we documented some conditions that were absolutely deplorable," said Yvonne Martinez with Palm Bay police. "You wouldn't expect any human to live in that, much less children."

According to Nethercutt's arrest report, detectives found cigarette butts, trash on the floors and couches, and dirty dishes everywhere, along with an infestation of German cockroaches.

There were so many roaches, that police say they would scatter from the rug when stepped on.

But the tipping point, according to Martinez, were syringes left out in the open, used by Nethercutt because of his heroin addiction.

"Drugs, paraphernalia, the environmental hazards in the house, infested with roaches and food. It was just not anything that you would want a child to have to be exposed to," said Martinez.

The children wrote on their bedroom walls how much they hated their father, according to the report. One of them apparently writing, "Giving up hope. I hate my dad."

Palm Bay detectives were notified about the neglect allegations by the Department of Children and Families a few weeks ago after an anonymous caller tipped them off.

After an investigation, Nethercutt was arrested Monday on charges of child neglect and contributing to the dependency of a minor.

He went before a judge for the first time at the Brevard County Jail on Tuesday where a judge ordered he be held on $40,000 bail.

DCF said the three children are in protective custody and staying with a relative. They're said to be in "good spirits."

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