Five children in soiled diapers were found wandering across a Florida highway. The children, ranging in age from 1 to 5, walked into traffic on Route 19 near Spring Hill. Samantha McCarthy, the woman caring for the children and believed to be their mother, was arrested for child abuse once she was finally located by Tampa area police officers.
Samantha McCarthy, 24, was arrested on child neglect charges after police officers were called to collect the five children in soiled diapers off the side of the highway on Tuesday morning. Spring Hill law enforcement officials said all of the young children were adorned in “heavily soiled” diapers and nothing else. Why children past the age of 2 were still in diapers remains unclear. Law enforcement reports indicate that the children decided to cross the extremely busy highway so they could go to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park located on the other side of the road.
Overnight: Samantha McCarthy bonded out. She was arrested after her five children were found alone near U.S. 19. pic.twitter.com/ITv72KPybu
— ABC Action News (@abcactionnews) December 31, 2015
The five kids in soiled diapers were not able to say their names when asked to do so by police officers or state who their parents were, NBC News reports. Hernando County Sheriff’s Office investigators also revealed that paramedics called to the scene said the youngest of the children, a 1-year-old girl, had a “severe rash” on multiple parts of her body, which appeared to have existed for at least several weeks.
At least one passing driver attempted to stop the children before they walked onto U.S. 19 and into the flow of traffic. However, this person was unsuccessful and immediately called 911 for help. The deputies were reportedly at the scene along the highway for at approximately 30 minutes before a woman approached to inquire about the five kids in soiled diapers. Samantha McCarthy identified herself and said that she had been taking care of the young children at a Motel 6 located nearby. McCarthy claimed that the children had wandered off while she was sleeping.
Samantha McCarthy also maintained that she had locked the door to her hotel room and could not figure out how the children were able to open the door and walk away. She also claimed that the rash on the baby was just a few days old and that she had planned to take her to the doctor for treatment later that same day. Law enforcement officers sent the infant to the hospital for treatment.
The Hernando County deputies reportedly appeared skeptical of the claim because the woman had not make an appointment with a doctor and did not have any obvious mode of transportation. When Florida Department of Children and Families staffers searched McCarthy’s Motel 6 room, they found just a few items of clothing and no food for the baby or four other young children to eat.
From MSNBC 5 Kids in Soiled Diapers Found on Highway, Woman Held: Five children aged 1 to 5 were found attempt… https://t.co/Vc4soluE1C
— News Network (@newsnet) December 31, 2015
Samantha McCarthy was arrested, placed in the back of a police cruiser, and transported straight to jail. Her bond was set at $5,000. It is not currently known if she could secure the funds necessary to get out on bail until the child neglect services case is heard by a Hernando County judge. Social services took all of the children into state custody, WFLA News reports.
What do you think about the five children in dirty diapers who were found walking on the highway?
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