Mother Arrested After Child Found Wandering Palm Coast Streets


A Palm Coast mother was arrested on Monday after her child was found wandering the city streets, according to a new report from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office. 22-year-old Isabella Tucci was in jail for almost four hours before bonding out on one felony charge of child neglect without great bodily harm.

The strange incident reportedly began when a vacationer staying in town saw a two-year-old boy wandering around the entrance of a parking lot on Club House Drive on the north end of town. The child was reportedly not visibly hurt, but appeared to be wearing just his blue pajamas and a 'very soiled diaper'. The vacationer tended to the child and tried to flag down a local resident, eventually opting to call the FCSO instead at around 9:00 am.

When deputies responded they took the toddler into their car and, with him secured in a child seat, took him to the FCSO Palm Coast District Office. There, they contacted the Department of Children and Families (DCF) about the situation. Deputies then returned to the scene where the child had been wandering and began looking for signs of where he may have come from.

Finding the Child's Mother

During their search, deputies reportedly discovered the door to a condo unit open, with Isabella Tucci asleep inside. Upon waking her up, deputies questioned Tucci about what happened. She gave deputies her name and informed them that the child that'd been found was indeed her son. She said that she'd last seen him at 2:00 am when she put him down to sleep, and then fell asleep herself until deputies woke her up at 10:30 am. She wasn't sure when he'd last eaten, the FCSO said, but indicated that he may have eaten from an open cereal box on the kitchen floor.

Also revealed in the deputies' conversation with Tucci was that her son had apparently unlocked the front door before, and that she was aware it was an ongoing problem. No child-proof locks were installed at the door, the FCSO said, and the condo was located on the second floor. Beyond that, a stairway near the condo was described by the FCSO as a potential serious fall hazard, and a canal near the building could've been dangerous to the toddler as well. And that's before the presence of nearby Palm Harbor Pkwy and Palm Coast Pkwy, two of the busier roadways in Palm Coast.

Making an Arrest

As deputies investigated Tucci's condo they found open containers of alcohol, along with trash and food scattered around the floor. When Tucci brought the deputies into her son's room, they reported that no clothing for him appeared to be present. All this helped build the case that landed Tucci in jail.

An investigator with the DCF also spoke to Tucci after the incident, in which she indicated she'd tested positive for THC and alcohol in a drug test in the last few days. Another drug test was conducted then and there, in which she tested positive for methadone. With these circumstances on top of what the deputies had found, the DCF took custody of the child and opened a further investigation into Tucci. Deputies arrested Tucci and charged her with child neglect without great bodily harm, booking her into the county jail on $2,500 bond. She has one prior arrest in Flagler County for domestic battery in 2020.

“Obviously, this mother won’t be mother of the year unless she can turn her life around and put her child first instead of illegal drugs,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “This was a very sad situation that could have turned out a whole lot worse. Thankfully, a concerned visitor ‘saw something’ and decided to ‘say something’ potentially saving a life. Parents, make sure your doors are properly secured and your homes are child proofed. Otherwise, we and DCF will get involved. Hopefully, this young mother will get the help she needs and turn her life around.”