Florida Keys

Police say they found a dad’s 3 kids home alone in a hot trailer. His home is now jail

A Stock Island man was jailed after police said they found three young children left to fend for themselves in a trailer with the air conditioning off.

Renel Antoine, 42, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of felony child neglect. He also had a previous warrant for domestic battery.

On Friday, Antoine remained at the Stock Island Detention Center on bonds totaling $60,000.

Monroe sheriff’s deputies were called to a trailer at 6500 Maloney Ave. at 2:30 p.m. Saturday to meet with a Florida Department of Children and Families investigator.

The investigator said the agency had received an anonymous complaint that domestic violence was going on at the home.

Three young children, ages 2, 4 and 8, greeted the investigator and told him they were home alone.

“I do not believe the oldest of the three is old enough to care for herself let alone a 2-year-old and a 4-year old,” wrote Deputy Corbin Hradecky.

They were wearing only underwear and the trailer was hot — at least 10 to 15 degrees hotter than outside — deputies said. Police found a broken air conditioning unit in the hallway.

The 8-year-old showed visitors their bedroom, which measures about 10 feet by 10 feet. The children said they all sleep in the same room with their mother and father.

A woman in her 20s emerged from the trailer and said she lives in a back room but does not take care of the children. She didn’t provide her name.

A neighbor told deputies the father had left about an hour before.

Antoine was called and said he was at the corner store and would return.

The children were taken into protective custody by DCF.