Ocala Woman is Accused of Leaving Son in Hot Home
During these burning hot summer months, we sometimes report on parents leaving children in hot cars.
In this case, one woman from Ocala is accused of leaving her child alone in a hot home.
Officers believe the child was left alone for at least five hours in a home with no air circulation.
The boys temperature was so high he was sent to Munroe Regional Medical Center, while his mother was booked in the Marion County Jail.
"It's a shame. It really is a shame that she would leave that three-year-old at home by himself," said Tonie Wakeley.
Wakeley who is a mother and a grandmother said she can't believe one of her neighbors left her son at home, all by himself.
"It's really sad because a three- year- old can't fix a meal, can't get water, can't do anything for themselves," said Wakeley.
On Friday afternoon, a 911 call came in about a three- year- old being left alone inside a duplex on southwest second street.
An Ocala Police officer knocked on the door which was slightly open.
After no one answered, the officer went inside.
"There was not any air circulating. She indicated that there was a lot of odor like of cats, cat feces," said Sgt. Angy Scroble who is the Public Information Officer with the Ocala Police Department.
While searching the apartment, the officer noticed a blue blanket on the couch and when she moved it she discovered the little boy.
"Covered in fleas, sweating profusely and was unresponsive to the officer," said Sgt. Scroble.
The boys body temperature was 100 degrees.
About an hour after the officer found the child, this woman 24- year- old Valita Burton arrived at the apartment.
Burton told officers she left her son at home, so she could go to work.
"Indications from the statements given in the probable cause is that the mother had left at 10 a.m. Our response was approximately 4:30 p.m.," said Sgt. Scroble.
Burton confessed in leaving her son home alone in the past.
Officers arrested Burton on Friday and charged her with child neglect.
Since then she has bonded out of jail.
On Monday we stopped by Burton's duplex and she did answer the door, but she said she doesn't want to answer any questions.
One neighbor believes leaving your small child home alone is never an option.
"She could've asked a neighbor to watch her child inside of leaving a child at home by itself. I would've watched him," said Wakeley.
Carrie Hoeppner with the Department of Children and Families said me the boy is out of the hospital and is with a relative, but DCF will keep a close eye on the boy.