the Florida Times-Union

Neglect Charges After Florida Children Found in Cockroach-Infested Home Lacking Air Conditioning

"Hundreds of cockroaches were seen crawling on the floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets, and on all of the furniture"

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office charged three people with child neglect after welfare investigators found three children living in a cockroach-infested Florida home lacking air conditioning.

FCSO said officials found three children – ages 4-months, 1 and 4 – covered in bug bites and living in filth on July 3.

The Florida Department of Children and Families first investigated the home after the four-month-old child was brought to Florida Hospital Flagler over multiple insect bites and bone fractures, according to police.

Lynn Marie Kulka, Michael Alan Choate and Rene Elizabeth Marchetta were arrested and charged on Friday after a two-week investigation. It was not immediately clear if the suspects have attorney representation.

"The investigation revealed all three children inside the residence were living in deplorable conditions," FCSO said in a statement on Saturday. "The home was infested with bugs, so severely that hundreds of cockroaches were seen crawling on the floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets, and on all of the furniture including the children’s mattresses, playpens, and bassinet. All three children in the home were covered in multiple bug bites."

Kulka told authorities she did not address the lack of air conditioning because she did not want the property's landlord to discover the conditions inside the home, according to FCSO.

“This is a traumatic situation for all of the children involved,” FCSO Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement. “The children who were living in this house were subjected to deplorable living conditions. I’m very proud of the hard work our investigators did to put this case together and thankful that the children are now safe from these three individuals who obviously don't know how to be parents or properly care for children.”

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