A 34-year-old grandmother has been arrested for leaving five children alone in her filthy home without any food while she left to gamble at a casino.
Crystal Hernandez has been charged with five counts of child neglect after she left four of her children and one of her grandchildren, all between the ages of 2-year-old and 12-years-old, in a filthy, feces-covered home while she went to gamble to “pay the rent.”
Neighbors alerted authorities when they saw the kids walking outside and asking for food. When police arrived on the scene, they found a home that they say had a feces and urine odor so bad that it was “almost unbearable to stand.”
Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew McGee told media that there was “feces on the kitchen counter, along with feces on the floor.” The cupboards were empty and the fridge was filled with rotten food.
McGee’s report also notes that “dirty clothes were thrown around the residence, along with old food.”
Hernandez says “No, I didn’t leave no one. I paid a babysitter, and the babysitter left. I went to get the rent, trying to help my kids, and she left them there.”
Her boyfriend told media “I think Crystal told the neighbor to take care of the kids.”
He adds that “She went to see a place over there, so she can get her rent paid because someone stole her money right here because the kids leave the doors open right here all the time.”
One of her neighbors notes that “The children are always outside barefooted, walking up and down the street.”
The children have been removed from the home and a judge has banned Hernandez from having contact with any of the five kids.