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Teen Calls Hotline, Cops Find Home in 'Complete Disarray'

5 kids found living in 'deplorable' conditions in Florida home, parents charged with child neglect
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2019 7:42 AM CST
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Dennis Allen, left, and Betty Nicolicchia-Allen.   (Flagler County Sheriff's Office, via NBC News)

(Newser) – While most kids were out trick-or-treating on Thursday, one Florida teen was calling into an abuse hotline, a call that ended up getting both of her parents arrested. NBC News reports the call that came in on Halloween was from a 14-year-old girl who alerted authorities there was abuse going on in her Bunnell home, which she said was unlivable—literally unlivable, as she was considering killing herself. She said on the call that she cared for her four younger siblings while her parents were at work, as well as three dogs, a rabbit, and a couple of chickens, and that while she was supposed to be homeschooled, no one was bothering with that, per a Facebook post by the Flagler County Sheriff's Office. She also says her mother emotionally and physically abused her. Cops arriving at the home were stunned by the "complete disarray" and "deplorable" conditions they discovered.

The home had no running water—the toilet was filled with waste, and the kids told police they hadn't bathed at a nearby eatery in days—the fridge had nothing edible, and the home overall was foul: "Every room of the home contained an abundance of animal feces, animal urine, rotting food, roaches, and other flying insects," the Facebook post notes. "This is a traumatic situation for all of the children involved," Sheriff Rick Staly says. "Halloween is a day where kids should be out having fun, not contemplating ending their life." Betty Nicolicchia-Allen, 42, and Dennis Allen, 33, were arrested and charged with child neglect; each posted a $5,000 bond late Saturday. Their 14-year-old daughter has been placed in protective custody due to her threat of suicide, while her four younger siblings are now in the custody of the state's Department of Children and Families. (Read more child neglect stories.)

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