PALM BAY, Fla. – Two women were arrested on child neglect charges in Brevard County amid allegations two young girls were trying to eat grass and sticks because they were hungry.
Joanne Hall, 77, and Corey Richards, 25, were arrested Saturday in Palm Bay.
According to Palm Bay police, officers were called to Holiday Park because the girls were spotted covered in bug bites, dehydrated, very dirty and extremely unkempt. Officers said they observed the girls, whose ages were not released, trying to eat grass and sticks, police said.
Hall said she watches the girls occasionally but "did not appear interested in speaking with officers," police said.
Officers said Hall's house was "not livable for an extended period of time" and had feces smeared on the walls. According to a police report, "it was impossible to walk on the floor and not step on something of filth."
Richards showed up later and said she had no choice but to leave the girls with Hall, according to police.
Officers said they have been called to Hall's home multiple times because the girls had escaped, but Hall and Richards said that had only happened once.
The girls, both of whom received medical attention, were placed in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.