Empty cardboard boxes, a two-liter bottle of half-consumed Dr Pepper and what appears to be ketchup were the only items in the filthy home’s refrigerator, photos show.
Beyond that, there was no food at the residence near Ocala, Florida, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. There was no running water or electricity either.
But there were six neglected children, one just 2 years old — and they were all entirely unsupervised, deputies said.
Deputies came to the Porter Shores neighborhood Tuesday afternoon after neighbors found a 2-year-old girl (naked from the waist down) and a 4-year-old boy who were roving the streets with no adults supervising them. Both children had open sores across their bodies, and both were infested with lice, the sheriff’s office said. The girl’s wounds — blanketing her face, feet, chest, back, legs and arms — were worse than the boy’s.
As deputies tried to figure out who the children were and where they had come from, more kids began riding up the street on bikes. Those were the 2- and 4-year-old children’s four siblings, who were 6, 8, 9 and 13, according to the sheriff’s office.
The children informed deputies that their guardian — Sara Nicole Resko, 30 — had gone to work and left them at home unsupervised, deputies said.
That’s when deputies went to the home themselves, and discovered living conditions that were “some of the worst they had ever seen,” according to the sheriff’s office. Dog feces coated the floor. Flies were everywhere. All six children were covered in open sores and lice, and all of them had to sleep on a mattress on the floor without sheets or blankets, deputies said.
Resko showed up an hour and a half into the deputies’ impromptu home visit, the sheriff’s office said.
But at first, Resko tried to convince authorities that she had only been gone for a few minutes, deputies said. That’s when deputies revealed they had been in the filthy home for well over an hour. Resko then began to backtrack, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Department of Children and Families took the children from Resko’s custody, and Resko was arrested on suspicion of child neglect. She faces six counts, according to the sheriff’s office.
It’s not the first time the children had been left alone: Records revealed that two other instances of inadequate child supervision had been reported — one in April 2017 and the other in February 2018, according to the sheriff’s office.
Following the Feb. 2 incident, the Department of Children and Families helped Resko come up with a “supervision plan” so the 13-year-old child wouldn’t be in charge of the other children, deputies said.
Resko is being held on $12,000 bond, WESH reports.