RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Child welfare officials have taken five children from the home of a couple accused of neglecting a 12-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy.
Authorities said the two children had apparently been locked in a closet for days at a time and had limited medical and dental care. Sabrina Golden-Hazel and Quincy Leon Hazel, both 44, were arrested Sunday and remained Wednesday in the Palm Beach County Jail on neglect charges. It’s unclear whether they have an attorney.
Riviera Beach police arrested the pair after the 17-year-old told them of the alleged abuse. He said he had run away from the home and a woman took him to the police station.
The boy told police he and the girl were forced to eat garbage and when they were locked in the closet, they had to use the bathroom in buckets. According to a police affidavit, the boy’s teeth were severely rotted.
The Associated Press requested the affidavit from police on Tuesday, but it has not yet been provided. The Palm Beach Post and the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale reported the details.
Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll said the agency is investigating.
“The reported abuse suffered by these children is outrageous and heartbreaking,” Carroll said in a statement.
“We will provide any additional information about this case as our investigation progresses.”
An agency spokeswoman confirmed there had been prior contact with the family but offered no details on the visits.
Riviera Beach police said they’ve had nine calls for service at the address since January 2012. Three calls were for a missing person and one was for a suspicious person or vehicle. None of the calls were for suspected child