Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Child Cruelty was the charge

This is a terrible story about a little girl. You wonder what she is going to be like when she grows up.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- A St. Johns County woman was recently arrested after police found a young girl in her custody covered with dirt and wandering around a shopping center.

Police arrested Patricia Devlin and charged her with child cruelty.

Police said the 4-year-old girl they found walking around alone in a St. Augustine Wal-Mart was covered with dirt had magic marker on her hands and face and hair matted to her head. They said it was obvious the child had not been bathed in days.

It sounds like she was trying to lose the little girl anyway.

When confronted, Devlin told an officer the child did not like to take baths and she never forced her. That response prompted an investigation by the Department of Children and Families.

A day later, detectives went to the home where the child was living with Devlin and discovered deplorable conditions.

Police said as soon as Devlin opened the door to her mobile home they could smell the odor of garbage and rotting food. One look was enough for investigators to arrest Devlin on the spot and take away the 4-year-old girl.

"Certainly, this was not an environment to be raising a 4-year-old child in," said St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chuck Mulligan.

He said Devlin and the girl were living in filth. The child was sleeping on two seat cushions because her bed was littered with garbage, and a dog in the home was covered in feces.

A police report stated that the conditions inside the trailer were so bad and the odor so offensive that one of the investigators with DCF had to exit the home to vomit.

"It's never the child's fault, they're brought into that set of circumstances and they really don’t have much of a choice. It's not until we can intervene and attempt to set everybody back on the right path," Mulligan said.

Devlin is not the 4-year-old's mother but she is her legal guardian. According to police, the girl's mother is in jail and her father didn’t want custody.

Devlin is being held on $1,000 bond. The girl is in the custody of DCF.   SOURCE

I am at a loss for words when I read this type of frequent story.


  1. Anonymous09:05

    Heart-breaking indeed.

  2. It sounds like this child needs a good family to adopt her. A mother in jail and an absent father- so terrible.

  3. Anonymous13:00

    This is a result of our government help.

  4. It is a sickening situation and it forever warps these children, even if they're removed from the situation and placed in loving surroundings so many times.

    My parents tried the foster child route when I was about 10. "Janice" had been in and out of group homes for 8 years. Her mother was in and out of jail, when home she had a steady stream of "uncles" living with her, food would rot in the fridge & they'd still eat it (tales of worms- I assume maggots- in meat made into supper were common), etc...

    She came into our home where affection & food were aplenty and would eat until she made herself sick or would literally flush food down the toilet until there wasn't "enough". She did this with other products as well- shampoo, mouth wash, notebook paper, you name it.

    At 9 she attempted repeatedly to sexually coerce my father by complaining of "butt aches" and wanting him and only him to check them out, which he wouldn't.

    The final straw was when she hatched a plan to kill my mother and me, where my dad could marry her mother and they'd live happily ever after.

    I don't think a 9 year old would do such if it weren't for suffering the kind of abuse in your post at such a young age.

    With all the therapy in the world, I don't believe a lot of folks get past those kind of childhoods and it should be a much larger crime with stiffer penalties for doing everlasting damage to these kids.

    Off my soapbox and back to work- sorry I hijacked your post Admiral.

  5. It breaks my heart to read stories like this. I'm just glad she was rescued. I hope she'll get the help she'll surely need and finally be given a chance at a real life.

    Poor little soul.

  6. Snigglefrits- God Bless you and your family. It must have hurt you to have gone through all that.

  7. Not so much Elm. It opened my eyes and educated me. Before that, I thought everyone came from a happy, loving, 2 parent home. The chick freaked me out, but I learned how much I had to be thankful for too.

  8. Lost for words here.. we shouldnt wonder why some people grow up to be rapists and murderers or abusers themselves. Having programs and people to investigate things like this in a more timely manner is important, and I have no problem with my money going to programs such as this at all but for pete's sake, why do things have to get so bad before action is taken?


Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Where are the Photo credits?

I find most the images uncredited on random sites, but I will add credits if someone lets me know who the has the rights to the image.

Boarding Party Members

School Started on

The Learning never stops.

Blog Archive