Kids removed from roach-filled home with dead dogs in freezer, deputies say

Volusia County woman charged with child neglect

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, Loren Korn - Reporter

PIERSON, Fla. - Two children were removed from a Pierson home that was littered with feces, swarming with cockroaches and covered with filth, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation into the living conditions at the home began in October when deputies received a tip that Victoria Kanger, 35, was neglecting her two children, ages 5 and 14, and had three dead dogs stored in her freezer.

"It is disgusting, non-livable for a 5-year-old (girl). I mean, there's poop all over the floor, there's piles of clothes, there's roaches. She's had lice for the past eight months," the tipster told 911.

A deputy went to the home on Hastings Road in Pierson and immediately noticed a strong odor of urine and feces while speaking to Kanger in the doorway, according to the affidavit. 

Kanger allowed the deputy inside and the smell became even worse as he navigated around large piles of trash and clutter, the report said. The deputy said he started feeling itchy and when he looked down at his pants, he saw they were covered in fleas.

There were two dogs and "numerous" cats living in the home, although the sole litter box was so dirty that it was impossible for the felines to use, deputes said.

Along with the fleas, there was also an infestation of cockroaches, according to the affidavit. The deputy said the insects would swarm and feast on the fresh feces on the floor and appeared to have no fear of humans.

When one of the pests would crawl on Kanger or her daughter, they would nonchalantly brush the bugs off. The girl also seemed unfazed when she stepped in roach-covered animal feces on the floor with her bare feet, according to authorities.

The deputy moved from the living room to the kitchen, where it was just as filthy, officials said.

"In the kitchen, there were piles of soiled dishes and trash. The kitchen had a large number of cockroaches crawling on the floor, counter tops, sink, stove and walls," the affidavit read.

What little food was in the refrigerator was covered in roaches and there were three dead dogs wrapped in plastic and cardboard that had been stored in the freezer, according to the report.

Victoria Kanger.

Kanger told the deputy the dogs were in the freezer because she didn't have a shovel and she didn't think it was odd to keep them in there because there was no food that was stored along them.

The deputy said Kanger was dismissive when he asked why her home was in such deplorable condition. Only when the deputy said he was calling the Department of Children and Families did Kanger enlist the help of her daughter to clean, the report said.

A DCF representative arrived two hours later, and by that time, Kanger and her child had cleaned up somewhat, but the home was still extremely soiled, according to the affidavit. The decision was made to remove the 5-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy from the home.

A family friend told News 6 that the home was in bad shape because Kanger had the flu.

"Anybody's who has been sick, knows you can't get up," she said.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, admits the house was dirty but said Kanger cleaned it up and DCF being involved every step of the way.

"It's very tragic, it's unnecessary and it's uncalled for. She needs help. I'm here. Her family is here. I don't even know why she's here right now," she said.

Kanger was arrested Thursday on a child neglect charge. She is being held on a $2,500 bond and  was ordered not to have unsupervised visits with the children. Both children are staying with other family members.

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