A Florida couple who run a healthy living blog are now charged with child neglect after law enforcement found five malnourished kids living with them in a car parked outside of a Walmart store.
Donell Barron and Rikki Hart, both 34, were taken into custody Sunday outside the Walmart in Greenacres.
A sheriff’s deputy took a look inside the Toyota they were in after smelling what he described in the arrest report as an odor “similar to that of homeless camps.”
The children’s father told the deputy that they’d lost their home and had lived in motels until they ran out of money two months ago.
He said the kids took baths at a nearby park.
The children were aged 4, 5, 6, 8 and 14.
Officials say the children are underweight, and that the 14-year-old boy’s bones “were clearly visible.” He only weighed five pounds more than his eight-year-old sibling…and that sibling had unusually high blood pressure.
The children had only eaten bread and salad once a day and hadn’t seen a doctor in years.
The couple, on the other hand, appeared healthy and clean.
They’d been evicted twice in the past five years from homes in Port St. Lucie for failure to pay their rent.
The couple, ironically enough, offer a “Money Matters Initiative Program” on their blog that offers others counseling on investing and budgeting.
The Department of Children and Families now has custody of the children.
The couple have been charged with child neglect and are being held in the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.
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