Deplorable living conditions lead to parents' arrest

Investigators say children were without food, power

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville couple was arrested after police found their children living in deplorable conditions without food or power.

Angela Carroll and James Kirkland were charged with child neglect. Their son and daughter were taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families.

Evelyn Kirkland has taken custody of the children, who are her cousins. She sent News4Jax photos inside the home that she recently sent to DCF. She found trash and old food scattered around the floors.

“The lights have been off for several months, there was no food there, in fact the parents sold the stove and the refrigerator, so there were no means of preparing a meal there," Kirkland said.

Court documents show the parents were arrested earlier in the week, and police notified DCF of the living conditions.

“They got into a fight a couple of nights ago and the kids went to the neighbor and the neighbor called the police and the police came out and the parents were arrested and the children were put into DCF custody," Kirkland said.

A dependency shelter order finds, "the children’s bedroom contained a single bed for both children which was infested with roaches and spiders and covered with clothing, trash and papers, that there were more than 500 pornographic magazines spread through the floors of the home.”

“Sad for the children because yesterday I spent three hours at a facility to remove head lice," Kirkland said.

A spokesperson for DCF said the case is still under investigation. Carroll and Kirkland have since bonded out of jail.