A Sarasota couple has been arrested and charged with five counts each of child neglect without great bodily harm after police officers conducted a welfare check at their home and located five children living in deplorable conditions.
Amanda L. Dean, 34, and Joseph P. Dromeshauser, III, 34, of 1315 18th Street in Sarasota were living with a 17-year-old boy, 12-year-old boy, 10-year-old boy, 2-year-old boy and 11-month-old girl.
On Monday, November 28, Sarasota police officers responded to the home for a welfare check and during a walkthrough, officers determined that the home was not suitable for anyone to live in.
Officers found animal and human feces on the floor, multiple pill containers left open within reach of children, trash, broken glass, rotting food and a strong smell of urine throughout the home.
A pipe used to smoke crack cocaine was in plain view near empty pill bottles. Dromeshauser was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officers say the home had no running water or way to dispose of human waste.
"The conditions in this home were the worst I've ever seen," said Detective Megan Buck, Criminal Investigations Division. "No child or adult should have to live in conditions like this. Someone knew something wasn't right with this family and called law enforcement. I'm thankful they did," said Detective Buck.
During the welfare check, Dean was not around to speak with officers. After approximately an hour after officers arrived, they located Dean hiding in a closet. She said that she was afraid to go to jail. The couple is currently being held at the Sarasota County jail.
Neighbor Jerry Haddock said he never saw anything out of the ordinary with the family.
"They kept to themselves mostly," said Haddock.
The children were removed from the home and are now staying with a family member.
"I hope somebody can take them and raise them, in a better condition," said Haddock.