Officers have charged a mother in Florida with neglect after they claim that her children have been living in horrid conditions for some time. The investigation started when someone at her child’s school noticed that there were hundreds of bugs coming from the student’s bookbag. It took about two weeks for officers to arrest 33-year-old Jessica Stevenson. Her second-grade daughter was at school one day when a counselor noticed that the child’s clothes weren’t clean and that her bookbag was infested. When the counselor discovered these issues, a report was made to a local social services office. An investigator then went to the mother’s home and discovered much more than bugs.
The young girl was asked several questions about her life at home and how she was treated. She didn’t know when she had taken a shower or a bath, and she didn’t have clean clothes to wear at home. The counselor gave the little girl clean clothes as there was urine soaked into the ones that she was wearing. Several new sets of clothing had already been given to the girl, but her mother didn’t wash them, so she had to keep wearing the same thing over again.
When officers received the report of neglect, they went to Jessica’s home to see the conditions that the children were living in and discovered that there were hundreds of roaches. There were four other children in the home aside from the second-grade girl. Fecal material from cats covered the floor and the furniture. There was no food in the home. When an initial report was made, a social worker didn’t think that the home met the criteria for the children to be removed, but over time, the conditions only became worse. The mother has been charged with a third-degree felony and could spend 25 years behind bars if she’s convicted on the neglect charges.