Girl calls abuse hotline on Halloween over 'deplorable' conditions in Florida home
BUNNELL, Fla. (WSBT) -- A Florida couple is behind bars after police say their 14-year-old daughter's desperate cry for help on Halloween night.
According to the release from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, officers received information through the Abuse Hotline on October 31 of a juvenile contemplating suicide because of deplorable conditions within her home coupled with physical and emotional abuse by the mother.
The juvenile told police she was being homeschooled but wasn't taught anything. She says she was, instead, a full-time caregiver for her younger siblings (ages 6, 8, 9 and 12), three dogs, a rabbit and two chickens while her parents, 42-year-old Betty Nicolicchia-Allen and 33-year-old Dennis Allen, worked late into the night.
Officers responded to the residence and noticed that the grass was littered with beer cans, gas cans and other trash, and the front porch was covered in fecal matter from chickens that wandered the property.
Further inspection of the home revealed filthy conditions, the release says, including animal feces, roaches, hoards of rotting food, insects, animal urine, along with no edible food in the refrigerator. Police say a few of the rooms were so full of trash that deputies couldn't see the floor and their boots even stuck to the ground.
In the only bathroom in the home, deputies found a hose running through the window and into the shower due to the residence having no running water. The young children told police the last time they had been bathed ranged from three days to a week.
“This is a traumatic situation for all of the children involved,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. “Halloween is a day where kids should be out having fun, not contemplating ending their life. I want to commend the girl for calling the Abuse Hotline and being brave enough to ask for help...I am thankful that these kids are now safe from these two individuals who obviously do not know how to properly care for children.”
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) took custody of the children. The juvenile was taken into protective custody under the Baker Act.
Nicolicchia-Allen and Allen were each charged with five counts of Child Neglect. They remain in jail on a $5,000 bond each.