A woman was arrested Thursday after police found her 5-year-old son severely malnourished, eating bits of cereal off the floor and unable to communicate or walk, the Daytona Beach Police Department said.
Investigators with the Department of Children and Families stopped by the boy’s home to follow up on a child-neglect investigation, an arrest report states.
When they got there, they found Naomie Hall, 24, then saw her 5-year-old son on the floor, police said.
The boy was dehydrated, skinny and had dry skin. He was eating pieces of cereal off the carpet, which was “filthy,” according to an arrest affidavit.
Police said the boy was unable to speak and couldn’t stand or walk.
Hall told investigators her son went without food for three to four days at a time and she made no attempt to try to feed him.
She said she doesn’t communicate with her son but knows when he needs something based on his facial expressions, adding she knows when he’s hungry “because he will chew on his hands,” an arrest report said.
The boy weighed 24.9 pounds, which police said wasn’t even a weight that registered on a growth chart for his age.
He was prescribed an appetite stimulant, but Hall said she hadn’t used it, police said.
She said the medication made her son sleepy and didn’t work, an arrest affidavit said.
The boy’s hands and feet were dry, peeling and blistered. His clothes were “filthy and he appeared to not have had a bath in quite a while,” police said.
He was taken to a hospital and admitted into the intensive care unit in case of seizures and cardiac arrest. Police said he was deemed clinically malnourished.
Hall, who lives in the home with her husband and two other children, was arrested on a charge of child neglect causing great bodily harm.
It’s unclear if her husband will face any charges, but Daytona Beach police and DCF say they are still investigating the case.
Police and DCF refused to release any details about the welfare of the other two children or whether they were still living in the home, citing health privacy laws and the active investigation.
“We’re of course investigating thoroughly to ensure the safety of these children,” said John Harrell, a spokesman for DCF. “...We’re still working to gather information but our focus is on keeping these children safe and healthy.”