SARASOTA, Fla. -- It was a house of horrors for five Sarasota children, who were subjected to living within a home covered in broken glass and waste from both humans and animals.
Sarasota police rescued five children, four males ages 10-17 and an 11-month-old female from the home described by a detective as "the worst" she has ever seen.
Photos released by SPD show dishes stacked on countertops and in the sink - garbage and dirty clothes are strewn throughout the home, covering entire hallways. Police reported that since the family had no running water, there was no way for them to use the bathroom.
"The conditions in this home were the worst I've ever seen. 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," Detective Megan Buck of SPD's Criminal Investigations Unit said.
The dirty conditions made the home uninhabitable, but there was more dangerous materials left within the reach of children. Police discovered multiple open prescription pill bottles and a crack cocaine paraphernalia left in plain view.
Officers were alerted to the deplorable living situation on November 28 when they performed a welfare check at the home located at 1315 18th Street. All five children were present when officers began their search of the property.
Two adults, Amanda L. Dean, 34, and Joseph P Dromeshauser III, 34, were also home, though Dean was located after hiding in a closet for an hour. She told detectives she feared going to jail.
Police interviewed Dromeshauser at the scene and he elaborated on how the family would go to a relative's house once a week to shower the children and do laundry.
The family also compensated for the lack of running water by filling bottles with urine and clogging the toilet with used toilet paper, according to the report.
Both Dromeshauser and Dean were charged with five counts each of child neglect without bodily harm. Dromeshauser was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. They were transported to Sarasota County Jail.
SPD has been in contact with Department of Children and Families for their agency to launch an investigation.
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