Two girls tried selling toys out of a stroller so they could help their mom keep the house. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the sisters — ages seven and nine — were seen wandering around a community near the Osceola-Polk county line asking people to buy toys from them. They were knocking on doors so they could bring in extra money for their mother’s financial situation.
Police received an anonymous call and found the girls wandering out and about on the streets around 10:30 a.m. Thursday. The sisters missed their bus for school, which usually picked them up around 7:20 a.m.
Deputies say when they asked the kids what they were doing, they answered: “We are out selling toys to help mommy stay in the house.”
The girls who were trying to sell the toys didn’t know the address to their home, but were able to lead deputies there about a half mile down the road. When they arrived at 11 a.m., the mother — April Emery — was sleeping in bed.
Emery’s response to sheriff’s questioning was, “Oh. Well they should know better, it’s their job to wake me up in the morning to get ready for school.”
The seven and nine-year-old didn’t tell their mother they missed their school bus, but said “mommy’s roommate” saw them in the streets, according to records.
Deputies wrote in the report that the house’s doors were “wide open.” Emery said she “had no idea where the girls were.”
Sheriffs documented in their report that they observed running water, electricity, and food in the home. The girls were wearing clean clothes while they were selling toys. Deputies further wrote that the two had “toys to keep them entertained.”
April Emery was arrested by authorities and charged with child neglect; she’s booked “into the county jail in lieu of $1,000 bail,” the report states.
Emery’s arrest has been reported to the state Department of Children and Families. The department reveals that they’ve investigated prior allegations of bad child care at the home. Both girls have been turned over to their father.
It’s also noted that Emery is the mother of another child — who has a different father. That child wasn’t documented in the sheriff’s arrest report.
WFTV 9 News reports that the girls will stay with a family member — presumably meaning their father — while child welfare workers investigate the case. They want to know why the girls were out selling toys on a school day.
[Photo Credit: Osceola County Sheriff’s Office]