JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman is charged with child neglect after Jacksonville police said children were found living in an apartment covered in bugs and feces.
Jakarta Hunter, 26, was arrested Thursday.
According to her arrest report, another woman, who News4Jax has chosen not to identify, found a toddler who had been wandering around by himself.
“I brought the baby home, bathed him and cleaned him up,” the woman said. “I knew I couldn’t leave that baby outside by himself.”
She and officers eventually located the apartment on Moncrief Road where the toddler lived. When they knocked on the door, she said, a boy opened the door.
“(There was) nothing but trash. No refrigerator. No stove. Nothing in there,” the woman said of the apartment. “The living conditions were not right for them kids.”
According to the arrest report, the apartment was “unlivable.” The report said there were bugs everywhere, a bathtub half-filled with dirty water and urine, feces all over the bathroom, food and dirt all over the floor, countertops and beds, and a smell that was overwhelming.
Police also found a naked baby girl on the floor.
All three children were taken to a hospital, where doctors found burns on at least one of the children’s legs, according to the arrest report. One of the children told investigators that his mother’s boyfriend caused the burns and hit both him and his mother, according to the report.
Police said Hunter eventually showed back up at her apartment and was arrested, and the children were taken away by the Department of Children and Families. It’s unclear whether they are in a foster home or with relatives. A judge ordered that Hunter not have any contact with the children unless DCF OKs it.
It’s also unclear whether Hunter’s boyfriend is also facing charges in the case.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who is a retired police officer and a father, was greatly disturbed by what he read in the arrest report. He said young children left unattended could unknowingly wander into harm’s way.