NewsPasco County


Child sets mattress on fire to escape abuse, Pasco Sheriff says

Posted at 4:51 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 00:02:29-04

SPRING HILL, Fla. – A Spring Hill couple is arrested after a child set a mattress on fire, prompting deputies to investigate the two adults for child abuse.

According to Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, the investigation started after emergency crews responded to a house fire in Spring Hill, south of the Pasco-Hernando county line.

Nocco said Tuesday that deputies later found a child under 10-years-old “living in a room where no human being should live.”

Nocco said prior to the fire, the child was locked in a bedroom with no electricity and no natural light.

Deputies say there were a blanket and a mattress that had feces and urine everywhere in that child’s bedroom. Nocco said the child did not have access to games and no television while locked inside the bedroom.

“We don’t treat the worst in our society like the way this child lived,” Nocco said. "The pictures will never give them justice to the horrors and the blackening of the soul that this child had to live through."

Deputies say the child lived with five other children in the home, ages ranging from infant to 10 years old. Nocco said one of the other children passed the young victim a box of matches under the door. The young victim then used the matches to set the mattress on fire.

Deputies then arrested the couple, 36-year-old Kelley Davis and 37-yer-old Daniel Davis, for child abuse.

"He freely admitted that the dogs that live in that home are in better living condition than the child victim," said Det. Randall Jones.

Nocco said the couple told deputies they locked the child in the room because they were misbehaving.

"I can guarantee all the neighbors around here, if anybody had any thought that something bad was happening to the kids, somebody would have said something," said neighbor Tom Bowen.

Deputies say the children were all homeschooled so they rarely left the home. The other five children are now being placed in protective custody.