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Melbourne couple arrested on felony child neglect charges

Police find 2-year-old boy wandering apartment complex

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A mother passed out on drugs, a father, not home Melbourne police say that's how a 2-year-old was able to walk out the door of a second floor apartment, down the concrete staircase and wander the neighborhood.

A neighbor called 911 and alerted police.

"Officers were able to get the child to point them in the general direction as to where he came from," said Cmdr. Dan Lynch with Melbourne police.

That was after 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The boy was safely reunited with his parents, after an hour or so of being outside by himself.

It would not be a happy reunion for long, though.

Police say the toddler's mother was passed out, apparently on drugs, and she and the boy's dad were raising the 2-year-old in filth.

"The house was not being taken care of," said Lynch.  There were indications of drug use as well as filth inside the house."

Around 11:30 a.m., police arrested the toddler's parents.

And then shortly after noon,

neighbors spotted the toddler being taken away through the backyard by Child Services.

"The child was not injured or harmed in any way," said Lynch.

Police say they found the 2-year-old with no shoes on and needing changing so badly that when officers brought the boy back to his Shull Manor Apartment building they changed his diaper for him.

"The diaper was filthy," said  Lynch.  "The officers located a diaper inside the house where mom was sleeping and changed the diaper for the child so the child wouldn't have more discomfort."

The parents are charged with felony child neglect.

Police say Child Services took the toddler and his siblings to a grandmother.


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