Two people were arrested Sunday on charges of child neglect after authorities discovered five malnourished children living in a car in the parking lot of a Greenacres, Florida Walmart, WFLA reports.
Donell Barron and Rikki Hart were picked up after an officer spotted a blue Toyota on a routine patrol. According to the arrest report, the officer inspected the vehicle after smelling an odor “similar to that of homeless camps.”
Barron, 34 told the deputy his family lost their home in Port St. Lucie a year ago, and lived in a series of hotels for ten months until they ran out of money. He told authorities they’ve been living in Hart’s car and bathing in the Okeeheelee Park bathrooms for the past two months. He also said his children—ages 14, 8, 6, 5 and 4—ate only once a day and had not seen a doctor in “years.”
Authorities said the children were lethargic and malnourished; Barron’s 14-year boy’s ribs “were clearly visible” and he only weighed 50 points, according to the arrest report. When officers took the children to McDonald’s for food they “ravenously ate the meals, as if they had not been fed in quite some time,” WPTV reports. Greenacres Fire Rescue transported the children to Palms West Medical Center.
The pair, who were not identified as a couple in the police reporter, appeared in good health and relatively clean despite their starving children. Barron originally told police he attended “three years of law school and practices law” before insisting he lost his money in the stock mark. He later admitted he never attended law school.
Watch the video below, via WPTV: