Florida Family Kept Babies In Sewage-Soaked Home, Police Say — Dad, Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma Charged

Three generations of a Bradenton, Florida, family were busted Thursday and charged with horrifying neglect of a fourth generation — two babies aged 20 months and eight months, who were forced to live in squalid, sewage-soaked conditions that Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies called perhaps the worst they’d ever seen.

“Every now and then you run into a situation like this where it’s just horrible,” Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Dave Bristow told WTVT-TV News in Tampa, Florida. “Some of the worst conditions we’ve seen in a long time.”

The children’s dad, 47-year-old Keith Davis, was taken into custody along with their 19-year-old mom, Theresa Miller (pictured above, left). Also living in what police called the “deplorable” home — and also arrested — were Miller’s mother Linda A. Miller, listed as 40 years old, and her mother, the great-grandmother to the two babies, Linda E. Miller, age 67 (pictured above, right).

The family apparently had a homeless camp set up in their backyard where a sewer line had somehow split open and spewed raw sewage all over the yard.

“If there wasn’t so much problems with the main sewage and plumbing and hot water heater, there wouldn’t be water and sewage on the floor that’s the reason for feces and bugs,” said Adam Spry, a man who also lived on the property, who told WTVT that he was moving out on the very day that the arrests were made.

Watch the full WTVT report in the video below.

But Spry’s description doesn’t begin to cover the stomach-turning conditions in which Manatee deputies found the two small children, who were dressed only in diapers that apparently had not been changed for days, judging by the loads of feces and urine that packed the diapers, according to a report in the Palm Beach Post.

In fact, a police report described the children as covered in dirt and insects, with diapers that were “soaking wet from urination and sagging to the floor with feces.”


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The arrests came after deputies showed up at the 60th Avenue Drive East house in Bradenton Thursday to serve an eviction notice just before 9 a.m. Thursday, December 10 — only to be hit with what their report, cited by the Bradenton Herald, described as an “unbearable” odor permeating the entire property.

“As soon as you got there you knew that it was bad,” Bristow said. “The smell — everything about the residence. The children needed to be removed right away. No questions asked.”

As they investigated further, the deputies found a blanket soaked in urine, and floors piled with feces — both animal and human — as well as molding garbage, along with swarms of flies in the house and in the backyard where the makeshift homeless camp housed several people in tents and in a shed, according to the Herald report.

Broken glass was also strewn all over the property.

According to a police affidavit, the family had lived in the home since May of 2012 “with knowledge of these conditions.”

The four family members were being held in jail at least until Saturday morning when they had a scheduled court appearance.

Their public defender, Patrick Kane, argued to a judge that the child neglect charges against the four could not be proven because the police affidavit described the two babies only as “young children,” which did not prove that they were, in fact, minors.

Kane also argued that grandma Linda A. Miller was never a caregiver to the children and therefore could not be charged with neglecting them, the Herald reported.

Spry, the non-family resident of the homeless camp, said that authorities just caught the family at a bad time.

“I’m not really surprised at that moment but social services has come by once a month to check on these children, and it’s been fine, and there were no problems before,” Spry told the Palm Beach Post. “It just happened to be a bad moment for the family when they stopped by there.”

The two little children of the Bradenton, Florida, family who lived in the sewage-soaked home have been placed in the care of Child Protective Services.

[Featured Photos via Manatee County Sheriff’s Office]