DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WESH) —Seven children have been removed from a Daytona Beach home in what an officer said is the worst case of child neglect he’s ever seen.
Daytona Beach police said they were called to investigate a report of domestic abuse when they arrived at an apartment to find an infant running barefoot on carpet that was covered with black mold.
Their mothers, who are sisters, now face one count each of felony child abuse. Police arrested 27-year-old Melida Jenkins and 31-year-old Shameka Jenkins on Wednesday.
Police said the apartment smelled of “a mixture of mold, urine, and feces,” and an officer wrote that they “might arrest someone for letting an animal live there.”
A police report said children were lying on a “severely stained” mattress with no sheets. The younger children – ranging in age from 1 to 8 – were wearing dirty diapers and soiled diapers littered the floor.
Police said there were Palmetto Bugs, flies and cockroaches throughout the apartment.
The refrigerator had one open jar of jelly, one small jar of peanut butter, and a jar of mayonnaise, police said.
Police said they asked a woman inside the apartment if the children were hers. The woman, later identified as Melida Jenkins, said two of the children were hers and she was babysitting the five others while their mother was at work.
Melida Jenkins’ sister, Shameka Jenkins, was found to be the mother of the other five children. Police said they determined both women were living in the home with the seven children.
Shameka Jenkins told police that she has complained to her apartment management several times and they would not help her clean or repair the apartment.
“In 28 years of police-work in the city of Daytona Beach these are, by far, the worst living conditions I have ever seen children exposed to,” a responding officer wrote in his report.
Shameka Jenkins and Melida Jenkins were both arrested and each were charged with child neglect.
Authorities placed the children into the custody of their grandmother.
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