Warning--possible triggers follow, pictures in linked stories may be NSFW
Last weekend, authorities in Orlando discovered one of the most horrific cases of child neglect in recent memory. Yolander Lasane, a 45-year-old mother of five kids, is in jail for forcing her kids to live in absolutely filthy conditions for a year, if not longer. And yet, there's a chance she may be allowed to get her kids back. For that reason, I'm reposting from yesterday.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, neighbors knew something was wrong--bad wrong--in the Lasane household. But they didn't know just how bad it was until Thursday.
(T)he situation really deteriorated in the past year or so after Lasane lost her job and the 400-pound woman began spending more and more time in bed.The Florida Department of Children and Families says it was aware of the situation as early as last February and had been working with Lasane for a month, but wanted to give Lasane time to fix the problem before going as far as taking her kids away. However, according to WFTV in Orlando, their hand was essentially forced on Thursday--almost by accident.
The children, ages 5, 9, 12, 15 and 17, ran around shoeless and unsupervised, cussed at adults, smelled bad and often ate cold food out of cans, neighbors recounted in interviews Thursday night.
Relatives and neighbors were horrified, however, when they learned the level of squalor the children were living in. When police arrested Lasane, 45, on Tuesday and charged her with five counts of child neglect, they also released photographs of the home — images that showed piles of garbage, feces on the walls, filthy bathrooms and more.
Orlando code-enforcement officials condemned the house Wednesday after finding animal waste, insects, broken plumbing, bare mattresses in the children's rooms and trash strewn throughout the home.
Police were called to the neighborhood for a stolen bike and called the Department of Children and Families when they noticed the condition of the home.It turns out that Lasane had thrown her oldest child out of the house three weeks earlier. When DCF arrived, Lasane said she didn't know where the girl was. Since Lasane was legally required to report her missing and failed to do so, DCF called the police. That would have been enough by itself to arrest Lasane, but according to WKMG-TV in Orlando, police got a look at the house.
DCF officials checked on the house and noticed the 17-year-old was missing so they called the police, who arrested Lasane.
WFTV learned investigators had to use a shovel to remove the trash in order to get inside the house.
According to the arrest report the smell from inside the home was overwhelming, and black mold was growing in the kitchen around what little food the kids had to eat.
Officials reported the home had feces all over the floors, doors and walls. Additionally, doors throughout the house were covered in insects, the carpet was soaked in urine and the toilet, sink and bathtub were not working in the main bathroom.In one of the most gut-wrenching scenes, one of Lasane's kids begged to get a new home--and revealed a mouth full of rotted-out teeth.
Officials also found that none of the children's rooms had working lights or air conditioning and all of their beds were uncovered mattresses that were crawling with bugs.
Lasane's room was found to be the most livable, officials reported, being vastly better than children's, but still covered in filth and human waste.
The house has been condemned, and the children are all safe and sound in other homes. Lasane's relatives are working to get temporary custody. Meanwhile, Lasane faces charges that carry a maximum of 75 years in prison.
Now here's where this gets hideous. According to the Sentinel, there's actually a chance that Lasane could get her kids back depending on how her criminal case turns out. There is something fundamentally wrong if there's even a remote possibility this woman could be within an area code of a child again. Hopefully a judge will make it moot by putting her away for a long time.