SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida mother of five was arrested after her children were found living in disturbingly poor conditions, according to WEAR.
Jessica Stevenson, 33, was charged with five felony counts of child abuse, one for each child.
In a report obtained by WEAR, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office details multiple incidents leading to Stevenson’s arrest.
The trouble at home bled into a second-grader’s school life when school staff reported that “hundreds of bugs” crawled out of a girl’s backpack during lunch.
She also went to school wearing the same outfit every day for a week. Investigators said it had “caked-on fecal matter and urine soaked in.”
Investigators went to the child’s home and found it barely furnished and infested with roaches.
“The amount of neglect in this case is very disturbing,” Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said, according to WEAR.
ABC News reports the children were sleeping on soiled mattresses on the floor with cat feces on the floor of the home.
Stevenson’s room, however, was “abnormally” clean in comparison. Her bed had clean sheets with clean clothes in the closet, unlike the children’s.
The mother was arrested last Friday, but released on a $2,500 bond on Saturday.
“We have roaches,” the mother told WEAR. “People all the time tell me everyone in Florida has roaches. It’s not easy when you’re one person and five kids. I want to do better and I’m trying.”