DAYTONA BEACH, FL (WESH) — A woman has been arrested after a severely malnourished boy was found in a filthy Daytona Beach apartment eating pieces of old cereal off the dirty carpet, police said.
The boy was discovered by the Department of Children and Families during an investigation into child neglect.
The boy, 5, was severely underweight and unable to speak, walk or stand, Daytona Beach police said. The boy was 24.9 pounds when he was found, police said.
The boy was taken to Halifax Hospital where he was examined and then placed in the intensive care unit at the hospital.
The child’s caretaker, Naomi Hall, 24, was arrested at the DeLand courthouse and charged with child neglect causing great bodily harm, according to police.
According to the police report, Hall told investigators that she does not communicate with the victim. She said she checks on him randomly and determines if he may need something by his facial expressions. Hall also told investigators that she knows when the victim is hungry because he will chew on his hands. The boy has not received any form of education or been taught to communicate, the report stated.
Investigators said Hall has Medicaid and Medicaid Transportation that she refused to use.
Hall has bonded out of jail.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.