A desperate call from a 14-year-old Florida girl to an abuse hotline on Oct. 31 led to the arrest of her parents.
The juvenile said she was contemplating suicide due to her living conditions and alleged physical and emotional abuse by her mother, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
The juvenile told investigators that she currently was being homeschooled, but was not being taught anything.
She said that she was being used as a full-time caregiver for her four younger siblings, ages 6, 8, 9, and 12. She also took care of three dogs, a rabbit, and two chickens while her parents Betty Nicolicchia-Allen, 42, and Dennis Allen, 33, worked until the late hours of the night.
When deputies responded to the residence in Bunnell to investigate, they found trash, animal feces, and roaches in every room. There was no edible food in the refrigerator and no running water.
The children also had not showered in weeks and had to drive to a campsite when they did get the chance to bathe.
“This is a traumatic situation for all of the children involved,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “I want to commend the girl for calling the Abuse Hotline and being brave enough to ask for help. These children were living in deplorable conditions. I am thankful that these kids are now safe from these two individuals who obviously do not know how to properly care for children.”
The Department of Children and Families responded to the scene and took custody of the children.
Each parent was charged with five counts of child neglect and they were transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility.