Two children found home alone Wednesday in Miami were left unattended in a dirty home, with nails within reach and old food containers left open on the kitchen table, said a Department of Children and Families investigator.
The investigator depicted the dirty and dangerous conditions at a Thursday hearing in Miami-Dade Juvenile Court.
"There were nails and sharp objects that the child had easy access to and could be very dangerous," the child protective investigator said at a custody hearing Thursday. "The kitchen was deplorable."
She said the children, a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old who were found wandering on the street, had dirty clothes and scabs in their hair. The home was messy and there were open food containers on the kitchen table that seemed to have been left there for two or three days, she said.
The two children were found by another DCF worker Wednesday as she was driving by the home on the 1800 block of Northwest 46th Street, police said. The worker said she saw the 5-year-old trying to pull the 1-year-old onto the sidewalk after the toddler had walked into the middle of the street, according to an arrest affidavit.
The mother of the 1-year-old, Naquisha Lashawn Thomas, told police she had left the house with boyfriend Anthon Taylor, who lives with her, and another child to go to the store, the affidavit said. The 5-year-old was a friend's daughter that Thomas was supposed to be babysitting.
Thomas, 24, told police they left the children home alone because the kids had already taken their bath. She said she left the children alone for 30 minutes, but DCF investigators were on scene for more than an hour before the adults arrived home, police said.
A neighbor told police this was not the first time Thomas and Taylor had left the children home alone, the arrest report said.
Shortly after Thomas arrived, she was taken into custody and charged with two counts of child neglect. She was released Thursday morning on $5000 bond.
DCF took custody of the two girls along with Thomas' 5- and 6-year-old boys who were in school at the time of the incident.
At Thursday's custody hearing, Miami-Dade Judge Jennifer Bailey spoke with Thomas and the father of one of the children. The father asked for custody of his child, but admitted he had not seen the child in more than a year and did not pay child support.
Judge Bailey granted temporary custody to a grandmother who was present in court. The following custody hearing is scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Two small dogs that were home at the time the children were found were taken by Animal Services, police said.
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