Two parents have been charged with neglect for bringing up five kids in a home filled with garbage, roaches and animal feces — when one called a hotline saying it had left her suicidal, according to authorities.
Betty Nicolicchia-Allen, 42, and Dennis Allen, 33, were arrested Friday after their traumatized 14-year-old daughter called an abuse hotline on Halloween, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.
When deputies pulled up to the family home in Bunnell, they found “gas cans, beer cans, rust-covered metal materials, and other trash” in the front yard, the statement says.
“The front porch of the home was covered in fecal matter from two chickens that freely roamed the property,” the sheriff’s office said of what was also home to children aged six, eight, nine and 12.
“Every room of the home contained an abundance of animal feces, animal urine, rotting food, roaches, and other flying insects.
“Some rooms were so littered with trash that deputies were unable to see the floor and their boots stuck to the filth-covered floors.”
There was no running water, with the children not having bathed in days — and the toilet completely clogged up from repeated use with no way of flushing it.
The teen who felt suicidal said she was home-schooled but never taught anything, and was instead “being used as a full-time caregiver” for her four siblings as well as looking after three dogs, a rabbit and two chickens, according to the report.
“This is a traumatic situation for all of the children involved,” Sheriff Rick Staly said, commending the teen for reporting her parents.
“Halloween is a day where kids should be out having fun, not contemplating ending their life.”
Both parents were charged with five counts of child neglect and were being held on $5,000 bond at Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, the statement said. The children were taken into care by the Department of Children and Families.
“These children were living in deplorable conditions,” Staly said.
“I am thankful that these kids are now safe from these two individuals who obviously do not know how to properly care for children.”
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