Palm Coast, FL – Three Palm Coast residents are each facing three counts of child neglect after state investigators find three kids living in a cockroach-infested home in the B section.
52-year-old Lynn M. Kulka (left), 26-year-old Rene E. Marchetta (center) and 24-year-old Michael A. Choate (right) were all arrested yesterday and booked into Flagler County Jail on $15,000 bond each.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly says the arrests came after the Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families spent two weeks investigating what was going on inside the home on Brelyn Place and the welfare of those children, ages 4, 1 and 4 months.
“This is a traumatic situation for all of the children involved,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “The children who were living in this house were subjected to deplorable living conditions. I’m very proud of the hard work our investigators did to put this case together and thankful that the children are now safe from these three individuals who obviously don’t know how to be parents or properly care for children.”
FCSO spokesperson Shannon Martin says its role in the investigation started July 3rd when DCF received word that the 4-month old ended up at Florida Hospital Flagler with multiple insect bites and bone fractures.
“The home was infested with bugs, so severely that hundreds of cockroaches were seen crawling on the floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets and on all of the furniture, including the children’s mattresses, playpens, and bassinet,” Martin added. “All three children in the home were covered in multiple bug bites.”
Investigators also found that the home had no working air conditioning, something Kulka admitted was never fixed because she didn’t want the landlord to find out about the conditions inside.
“This is an active investigation and additional charges may still be pending,” Martin added.
The exact relationship between the arrested and the children wasn’t made clear by FCSO or in the charging affidavits provided.