‘Filthy’ home leads to Milton child neglect arrest

A Milton woman was arrested for child neglect after deputies found her children living in filthy, roach-infested conditions.

Jessica Nicole Stevenson

Jessica Nicole Stevenson, 33, was arrested April 18 on charges of child neglect for allegedly allowing her children to live in “extremely filthy” conditions and failing to provide clean clothes and food.

One of the children’s teachers and the school’s behavior coach at Bagdad Elementary School reported concerns about the children’s health and safety to the Department of Children and Families. According to an arrest report, one of the children was observed to be wearing the same clothes to school every day and did not appear to be bathing.

When asked when the child last took a bath or shower, the child said they did not know. Stevenson’s children are ages 5, 7, 11, 12 and 14. Three of them attend Bagdad Elementary School.

According to witness statements from school personnel, the children had been wearing the same clothes every day and had a smell of body odor. A teacher had provided clean clothes to one of the children, but that child would rewear those clothes until they were also heavily soiled.

One teacher said she was also concerned that the children had no supervision between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Following the reports, deputies conducted a home check April 18 with Stevenson’s permission. During the investigation, they found filthy conditions in the residence.

Dirty dishes, rotten food and roaches filled the kitchen, according to the arrest report. The only food in the refrigerator was spoiled. Roaches were found on nearly every surface and bags of trash were scattered around the yard. The only furniture was a dining table.

The floor was covered with cat feces and shattered glass. Rancid laundry and trash filled the garage.

Several of the children share one bedroom, which had three soiled mattresses with dirty bed linens, the report said. There was no furniture and no clean clothes in the room. The oldest male child’s room had a single mattress on the floor with no linens and dirty laundry. There were only a few articles of clean clothing in the house for the older children.

According to the report, Stevenson’s room was cleaner than the rest of the house. Her closet was full of clean clothing and there were snacks in her bedroom. Her bed had clean linens, and there was a flat-screen TV.

Deputies documented the findings in photographs.

The state Department of Children and Families also conducted a home check, but the conditions did not meet the criteria for removal of the children from the home.

Stevenson was charged with five counts of felony neglect. Bond was set at $12,500. She was previously arrested for child neglect in 2016.

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