Mother leaves boy alone in hotel room among trash, drugs, Melbourne police say

Loni Ann Deshotel, 40, faces felony child abuse, drug charges

Loni Ann Deshotel, 40, who was booked at the Brevard County jail Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Melbourne woman was booked early Thursday, months after police said a boy was found alone in her hotel room with trash, drugs and alcohol in his reach, according to an affidavit.

On Sept. 18, 2021, Loni Ann Deshotel, 40, had allegedly left the boy in their room at a hotel on West New Haven Avenue to seek treatment at a local hospital, where she was eventually found unconscious in an intensive care unit “from a combination of having asthma and doing drugs,” police said. The police department identified her as the boy’s mother.

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Early the next morning, an officer made contact with the boy — whose age or relationship to Deshotel was not disclosed — in reference to a child welfare check spurred by a hotel employee, the affidavit said. The boy told officers that Deshotel was grocery shopping, but later said she had been gone all day and that he didn’t know where she was, according to police.

Through the doorway, the officer said they could see the hotel room was in “extreme disarray,” with objects strewn across the floor, beds and bathroom counter including empty food packages, clothing, medications and personal hygiene items. The officer asked the boy if they could look through the room “to ensure he had food and other necessities,” which the boy obliged, the affidavit said.

Inside the room, the officer reported finding methamphetamine, marijuana, an opened bottle of brandy and a brown powdery substance indicative of fentanyl, all stored in plain view and within the boy’s reach, police said. The officer ushered the boy out of the room and kept him at the West Melbourne Police Department while police contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families, the affidavit said. Within several hours, the boy met with a DCF investigator who had first visited the hotel to interview police, records show.

Dispatchers had since notified officers that Deshotel was in the hospital, where an ICU nurse stated she had arrived on her own, police said.

Deshotel faces felony charges of child neglect, possession of drugs and of controlled substances. Her first court appearance was scheduled Thursday at 1:15 p.m.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.