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Deputy: Children Found Malnourished & Dirty, Parents Were Not

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) —  A deputy patrolling around a Walmart near West Palm Beach found five children living in a car, looking hungry but their parents looked in good health, authorities said.

Deputies say the children, ages 4 to 14, weighed from 30 to 50 pounds and looked malnourished with their bones showing. The deputy said the kids were wearing “dirty clothes” and had “unkempt hair.” They were living in a Toyota with a bucket for their urine, according to authorities.

Their parents, Donell Barron and Rikki Hart, both 34, were arrested Saturday and charged with child neglect for each of their kids.

Deputies said the couple from Pittsburgh, did not look malnourished and looked to be in “ good overall physical health, relatively clean clothing and well-kept hair.”

According to Barron’s arrest report, he admitted to feeding the children once a day and mostly vegetables.

As other deputies arrived, the children were bought food from a nearby McDonald’s which they “ravenously ate, as if they had not been fed in quite a while.

Further investigation found neither of the children attended school and would occasionally bathe in a public park bathroom while living in the car for about two months.

Both Barron and Hart are now at Palm Beach County Jail.  Their five children are in custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.

 

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