FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A 14-year-old girl’s call to an abuse hotline led to the arrest of her parents after police found deplorable conditions at their Florida home.
According to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the teen said she was contemplating suicide because the conditions were so bad.
When deputies arrived at the home, they found trash, animal feces and roaches in every room. There was no running water and food in the refrigerator was rotting.
The teen told police that her mother emotionally and physically abused her, forcing her to care for four younger siblings (ages 6, 8, 9 and 12) while her parents were at work. She also had to take care of three dogs, a rabbit and two chickens, police said.
The grass in the front yard was tall enough to hide a small child and littered with gas cans, beer cans, metal materials and trash, police said. Parts of the inside of the home were so littered with trash that deputies couldn’t see the floor; in some cases, their boots stuck to the surface.
The children told deputies they hadn’t bathed for days. When they did bathe, they had to go to a campground since the home had no running water.
Police arrested their parents, 42-year-old Betty Nicolicchia-Allen and 33-year-old Dennis Allen, Friday afternoon on preliminary charges of child neglect.
“I want to commend the girl for calling the Abuse Hotline and being brave enough to ask for help,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. “These children were living in deplorable conditions. I am thankful that these kids are now safe from these two individuals who obviously do not know how to properly care for children.”
The children were placed in the care of the Department of Children and Families.