- By Eliot Kleinberg Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Police have charged a couple with child neglect after police found the two overdosed on drugs and their 4-year-old twin boys frantically screaming for them to wake up, Boynton Beach police said Monday.
Andrew Otto, 35, and Lauren James, 30, were booked Friday afternoon into the Palm Beach County Jail, charged with two counts each of child neglect. The two were released Saturday afternoon after posting $6,000 bond each, jail and court records show.
According to an affidavit, a man believed to be Otto called police at about 5:20 p.m. Friday to say he was overdosing. The man could not even give his name and age, and “dispatchers could hear the man’s heavy breathing and could hear a child in the background saying, ‘wake up,’ ” the affidavit says.
An arriving officer got no answer at the door but could hear children again hysterically crying and shouting, “Wake up!” The officer entered through the unlocked door and found the couple unconscious on a bedroom floor, with the two children on the bed, the report said.
Otto and James were taken to JFK Medical Center in Atlantis for treatment. In the house, police found drug items, including homemade hypodermic needles and bags of what turned out to be heroin and the powerful opioid fentanyl, which often is mixed with heroin.
“The apartment was in disarray and was filthy” and filled with both dead and living cockroaches, the police report said. The officer wrote that both children appeared not to have bathed in some time. He said one child reported he hadn’t eaten in several days, the home had nearly no food and water had been shut off.
Workers from the Florida Department of Children and Families removed the children from the apartment, the report said.