Police: 15-year-old left alone in filthy Palm Bay apartment for days

Caretakers arrested on child neglect charges

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PALM BAY, Fla. - A Palm Bay couple has been arrested on child neglect charges after they left a 15-year-old boy alone in an apartment infested with bugs and with no food , according to Palm Bay police.

The investigation began after a guidance counselor at a Brevard County school told authorities and the Department of Children and Families that the boy appeared to not have taken a bath in several days, was dirty-looking and was wearing unwashed clothes, according to the arrest report.

DCF officials and law enforcement officials found the caretakers of the boy were staying overnight in hotels with a 14-year-old and 3-year-old child and leaving the victim overnight in their previous residence, which they had abandoned.

Officials then went to the apartment and found it "unsanitary and hazardous," infested with bugs and "filthy." Authorities also found there was inadequate food and water, according to the report.

The caretakers, a 34-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man, told authorities they left the teen unsupervised for one evening only. They both tested positive for controlled substances, resulting in DCF removing the victim's siblings from their care, police said.

The victim told authorities that he had been left at the abandoned apartment for three nights. He was given a cheeseburger at school earlier in the day and asked a school employee for food to take home with him to eat that evening, according to the report.

The victim also told police he wasn't afraid to be alone in the apartment because there was a baseball bat there for protection.

The caretakers were arrested at the Quality Inn on Palm Bay Road and charged with child neglect

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