3-year-old left home alone found unresponsive, covered in fleas, Ocala police say

Florida Department of Children and Families take custody of child

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Valita Burton.

OCALA, Fla. - A woman was arrested Friday in Marion County after a police officer found a 3-year-old home alone wrapped inside a blanket and covered in sweat and fleas, according to officials.

Valita Burton, 24, of Ocala, was arrested on child neglect charges and taken to the Marion County Jail.

Ocala police said officers received a report of a child being left home alone and an officer went to the home and found the front door slightly ajar. 

No one answered when the officer knocked, so she entered the home, which was extremely hot with no air conditioning, police said.  The residence also smelled badly and was in extreme disarray, police said.

The officer saw a rolled up blanket on the couch and when she pulled it, she found the child unresponsive and covered in sweat and fleas, police said.

Emergency officials said the child had a temperature of 100 degrees, and the 3-year-old was taken to a hospital. 

Burton arrived at the home around 5:30 p.m. and said she was the child's mother, according to police, who added that Burton told them that she left the home around 10 a.m. to go to work.  Burton also said she leaves the child unattended on  occasion because she does not have a baby sitter. 

The Department of Children and Families was contacted and took custody of the child.

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