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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 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.

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.
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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Florida.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Repeat - posted twice? - nt (0+ / 0-)

    If you play Microsoft CD's backwards, you hear satanic things, but that's nothing, because if you play them forwards, they install Windows.

    by Unit Zero on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:40:05 AM PDT

  •  I do not want this woman in jail or prison. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Catte Nappe, JohnnySacks

    I do not want to pay tax dollars to feed, clothe and house someone when what she really needs is extensive rehabilitation.  She is not violent.  Prisons should be for violent people.

    We need a school system that has every single child going through a study that has them understanding how to live.  How to limit the number of children to what is affordable and teach what affordable means.  We need lessons on looking forward and what decisions in the present do to change what the vision is looking forward.  Etc..

    And I am back to my usual rant on birth control and republicans.  What republican out there can look at this situation and say this was the better outcome than giving free birth control to this women?  And this woman has a 17 year old girl that she threw out of the house...anyone believe the girl's life will be better than the mom's?

    1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

    by alwaysquestion on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:03:49 AM PDT

    •  It is a very tall order (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion, OldDragon

      It's really difficult to climb out of such a lifestyle, maybe impossible for some. The habits are so ingrained, it seems like the only possible reality: poverty, depression, and apathy. Who cares?

      There is so much work to be done. Our society has been so focused on acquisitiveness, but if we turn our publicly acclaimed values to things like honesty, truthfulness, integrity--our better angels rather than basest instincts--maybe they would catch on. Life as it could be.

    •  Trenton Supplied Recycling Bins (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion

      Neighborhoods with many people at this level of poverty and ignorance are supposed to be recycling when they have no concept of the simplest of life's details?

      Home economics needs to be returned to school curriculum for both males and females.  How to feed and care for a household on a budget.

      And yes, screw the GOP and it's fake concern for the sanctity of life.  As reprehensible as it would be for social policy, I wouldn't care if a reward was offered for sterilization.  She would likely have taken it and saved the lives of at least four children.  Because for certain, those children are getting nothing more than guaranteed incarceration from any GOP social policy.  Want to really burn your eyes out, read some of the comments in the newspaper story links.

  •  Umm- This sounds like clinical depression. (3+ / 0-)
    (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.
    It's a tragedy that the kids were living in those conditions. No doubt there.

    But a bunch of things failed here. This woman was clearly not receiving mental health care that was badly needed. None of the folk who were "concerned" about these kids said anything? What about professionals? Where was DSS?

    Nobody
    who saw this was a mandatory reporter? Doctor? Nurse? Foster parent in the neighborhood? Nobody?

    This whole diary, and the comments, freakin appall me. Yes, this woman was obese. Yes, this woman was suffering from a mental illness. I know that there isn't a dx, but lieing in bed for a year- that's depression. Crippling depression. It's a disease. It's not her fault. Might as well hate the diabetic.

    The diarist, and the comments I've seen so far, make it sound like this woman is some kind of monster. she's not. She's a sick person for whom the safety net failed.

    You wanna get upset? get upset at a system that allows this to happen. Where being poor means that your illnesses are untreated. Where mental illness goes untreated because people think it's icky.

    This is some of the most flagrant and intolerant victim blaming I've ever seen.

  •  DCF is among the worst child care agencies. It has (0+ / 0-)

    a history of always giving the children back to the abusing parent(s). They seem to place a band aid on these children's well being.
    The man accused of throwing the baby out of the car window-Richard McTear had a mistrial-again Florida's justice system is also broken.

    Also, little Ryla Wilson, a 5 year old (I believe) was misplaced by DCF (they did not know who's care Ryla was in) and she nor her body was never found.

    What ever happened to friends and neighbors looking out for the children? If something is wrong the neighbors are usually the first to know.

    "No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar." Abraham Lincoln

    by appledown on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:59:34 AM PDT

  •  Re posted to DKos Florida. (0+ / 0-)

    "No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar." Abraham Lincoln

    by appledown on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:01:14 AM PDT

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