Child found trapped in couple’s closet, Florida police say

This is the scene Florida investigators faced as they tried to free the 2-year-old child from a closet in the home, police say.

Photo from Port St. Lucie Police

A Florida couple is facing child neglect charges after visitors to their home found a 2-year-old child trapped in a closet, police said.

The discovery was made at a single-family home in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday, May 29, around 4 p.m., police said in a news release. Port St. Lucie is located about 110 miles north of Miami.

Investigators say officers were called to the home by the Department of Children and Families, which was investigating allegations of neglect involving four children.

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“Officers discovered a 2-year-old child trapped in an 8-by-8-foot closet with no light in the closet,” police said. “The door to the closet had baby gates, dog gates, headboards, pieces of wood and chairs tied together with sheets and straps blocking the closet door.”

The child’s condition has not been released and police have not said how long the captivity lasted.

“They also found a two-month-old newborn baby with severe diaper rash from the thigh to the lower back that required hospitalization,” police said. “The investigation revealed that the child had not seen a doctor since birth.”

The four children at the home ranged from 8 weeks to 3 years old, officials said.

A 28-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman “responsible for the children” were arrested at the home and both were charged with two counts of child neglect, police said.

“The remaining children were temporarily placed in the care of a responsible family member while DCF continues their investigation,” officials said.

Mark Price is a national reporter for McClatchy News. He joined The Charlotte Observer newspaper network in 1991, where he covered schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits, among other topics. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

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