FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A Fort Pierce husband and wife were arrested Monday after officers say they kept their two children in a “foul” home that was covered with trash, rotting food, dirty clothes and bugs.
Police, following up on an investigation by the Department of Children and Families, responded to the home on 721 South 24th Street after smelling a strange odor coming from inside.
Responding officers said the front lawn of Robin and Ronald Teller’s home was overgrown and covered with trash bags, children’s toys, dirty clothes and cups filled with an unknown liquid. Officers also discovered a large knife with an eight-inch blade sitting in the grass, according to an arrest report.
Once they entered the residence, officers said they observed similar qualities: the odor of rotting food, mattresses and sheets covered in brown stains, dirty pots and pans and very little room to walk.
“The residence was covered with bugs,” the report reads. “On top of the kitchen table I found dirty leftover biscuits that were old and had insects on them.”
In the fridge, officers said they couldn’t find a single piece of clean food. Instead they found half eaten donuts, rotten cheese dip and a pot filled with “an unknown rotting substance.”
After being greeted by officers, Ronald and Robin were removed from the home to be interviewed by detectives.
Ronald told police he works five days a week for St. Lucie County. While he admitted his house was unsafe for children, he said he blames his wife for its current condition because when he tries to clean it, she gets angry at him, the arrest report reads.
Robin told officers she works at the county courthouse as a cleaner, and that she tries to clean the house every day, but it is hard and overwhelming for her, the report states.
After officers determined the couple could not provide their children with proper care and supervision, Ronald and Robin were transported to the St. Lucie County Jail, according to the report.
The children, one starting third grade and the other starting second grade Monday, were taking into custody by DCF workers.
Ronald and Robin were each charged with two counts of child neglect without great harm.