A 3-year-old child found wandering alone and living in “filthy” conditions led to the arrests of a Boynton Beach couple Wednesday on child-neglect charges.
City police arrested Anderson Dallegrand, 37, and Erika Cassagnol, 34, on Wednesday after investigators found roaches crawling in every room, rodent droppings, and mold in a home the couple shares with their three young children, according to a police arrest report made public Thursday.
Police responded to the couple’s home on Northwest 28th Avenue, off Seacrest Boulevard north of Gateway Boulevard, when an officer investigating an unrelated Florida Department of Children and Families case reported seeing a toddler running unsupervised in a cul-de-sac. The child was covered in dirt and was wearing a dirty diaper, the report said.
A DCF investigator told police the child often gets out of the house to run around in the street. Two older children in the home are often left alone and are absent from school because they don’t have clean clothes, the investigator told police.
DCF is investigating the matter, and the children have been placed in licensed foster care, department spokeswoman Paige Patterson-Hughes said Thursday.
According to the arrest report, a city police officer knocked on the front door Wednesday and attempted to speak to Dallegrand. The officer noted in the report that Dallegrand had the smell of alcohol on his breath. His speech was slurred to the point he could not be understood, the report said.
An inspection of the home reportedly revealed unsanitary conditions, including a broken refrigerator with spoiled food inside.
Two children told investigators that Dallegrand had only come home about 10 minutes before the officers arrived. They had spent most of the day alone and waiting for him to return. Dallegrand reportedly told officers he was in the hospital and left so that he could return to watch the children.
During the investigation, Cassagnol also returned home. She reportedly admittedly to leaving the children unsupervised while Dallegrand was in the hospital. She explained that she did not send the older children to school because she had to work and Dallegrand was not home.
Dallegrand and Cassagnol each face three counts of child neglect. Both remained in custody at the Palm Beach County Jail Thursday in lieu of $9,000 bail.