Hernando County deputies have arrested and charged a mother after her five children were found wandering alone near US-19 in Weeki Wachee.
Dispatchers received a call from a concerned motorist who saw the children attempting to cross the highway near a Motel 6. That person stopped and prevented them from walking into traffic.
Deputies said the children, ages 5,4,3,2 and 1 year old, were all only wearing heavily soiled diapers and could not tell them their names, or who their parents were.
After being on scene for over 30 minutes, deputies were approached by Samantha McCarthy. She told deputies she had been sleeping and did not realize the children had left the room.
The children were checked out by paramedics and one was taken to the hospital because of a severe rash.
DCF was called to the hotel and found no food for the children and only minimal clothing. The children are now in DCF custody.
McCarthy is charged with child neglect. She is currently in jail on a $5,000 bond.