72-year-old janitor with diabetes trapped in Orange County holding cell over the weekend

Janitor went without food or insulin for nearly three days, according to incident report

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A janitor in Orange County was rescued from an inmate holding cell at the Orange County Courthouse after she was accidentally trapped within for nearly three days, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said the janitor, 72-year-old Victoria Vargas, had gone into one of the courthouse’s holding cells to clean on Friday when the door shut behind her, trapping her inside.

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She had left her cell phone on her cleaning cart, which was outside in the hallway, leaving her with no way to contact anyone outside the cell, an incident report shows. While trying to open the door, Vargas also suffered a cut to her finger, the report says.

Injury to the janitor's hand while trying to escape the holding cell (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

While Vargas was able to drink water from a small faucet above the cell’s toilet, she had neither food nor insulin to help treat her diabetes, deputies said.

The janitor remained trapped in the cell until around 6:40 a.m. on Monday, when a deputy noticed the cleaning cart and found the janitor inside, according to the sheriff’s office.

Vargas was provided with food to help restore her blood sugar levels and taken home by deputies after refusing to go to the hospital, deputies said.

An Orange County official issued the following statement in response to the incident.

“The automatic door closer has been removed to ensure this does not happen again and upon hearing of the plight of the janitorial employee, Orange County has mandated that the security company walk every space within the janitorial footprint,” a county spokesperson said in an email.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.