A Pasco County couple with few options is living in horrible conditions. Deputies uncovered the sad scene during a human trafficking investigation at a Holiday motel. Now deputies are taking steps to help them and hold the owner accountable.
The Crystal Inn sign says low rates and cable TV. But the conditions down a dirt path in a back room, Pasco deputies found something much different.
"Deplorable," said Cpl. Alan Wilkett with the Pasco Co. Sheriff's Office.
Kimberly Hunt and her disabled husband Ed have been living in the motel room the past three weeks. They checked in to get out of a bad living situation but the Crystal Inn wasn't any better.
"It wasn't clean. There was rat feces all over," said Kimberly Hunt.
Deputies stumbled upon this motel room while a human trafficking task force was about to cite the owner for excessive trash. They found Kim and Ed living in the tiny spot behind cinder block walls, chock full of code violations.
"Obviously your heart is broken when you see that," said Cpl. Wilkett.
Making matters worse, the couple gets just $750 a month in disability. The motel owner ia charging them over $900 to live in filth.
"It's outrageous," said Hunt.
Ed has undergone eight surgeries and is still recovering from a severe staph infection.
"I worry about him all the time," Hunt said.
The owner said he was "unaware" of the room's conditions and claims he'll help.
"We are going to move them to another room and if they want to move out before that, we will give them deposit back," said motel owner Dines Patel.
But the Hunts are ready to get out now. That's why the Pasco task force got Baycare health involved and Next Level Church, which has already supplied food and toiletries to the couple. All of them are determined to do even more.
"Let's find these people a safe, comfortable, clean place to live so he can get healthy and they can get back on track," said Pastor Michael Kirk with Next Level Church.
This couple couldn't be more grateful that without ever asking for help, the community's come to their rescue.
"It is a gift from God," Hunt said.
The motel's owner is already facing fines for trash. The sheriff's office says four county departments also have ongoing investigations and more charges are likely.