Florida couple arrested after Polk Co. deputies find home in ‘deplorable’ conditions

A Florida couple was arrested last week after their two young children were found living in “deplorable” conditions, according to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office affidavit.

According to a PCSO arrest affidavit obtained by the PCSO, after investigators investigated a Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) report of possible child neglect related to environmental hazards at the Alturas residence, Tonya and Both Devin Whites were arrested and charged with negligent child abuse. From local outlet Dairy Ridge.

Tawnya, who had worked for DCF for 13 years, was confirmed to be working at DCF at the time of her arrest, but was fired following the investigation, according to the affidavit. DCF requested law enforcement assistance after receiving reports of conditions at the home and attempting to check inside the home starting January 21st.

The two children living in the residence with Tawnya and Devin were 7 months old and 7 years old. There were five dogs on the property, four of which were kept indoors.

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Devin and Tonya White were taken into custody on Friday, Feb. 9, on charges of negligent child abuse after authorities determined their home was an environmental hazard. (Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

When officers arrived at the scene, they observed “overgrown grass” outside the home and “trash and debris strewn across the property,” according to the affidavit.

“The interior of the home was deplorable, with moldy furniture, stagnant water, broken pieces of junk, and piles of dog feces,” the document continues.

Deputies who interviewed Tawnya in her front yard said in an affidavit that her husband, Devin, had been involved in a previous car accident that limited his mobility and left him unable to help support the household. She said that she said that there was no such thing. She has a full-time job at DCF and she tries to clean the house, but she said she has a hard time cleaning alone.

Tawnya also told the deputy that her 7-month-old baby would not leave the master bedroom unless she was held outside.

During an interview inside Devin’s home, the deputy said he was responsible for the “condition of the residence” because he was unable to help with cleaning and did not want to ask for help. His affidavit also said his two children did not play inside the home and were “locked in the master bedroom.”

outside white's house

The outside of the home was “overgrown with grass, and trash and debris was scattered throughout the property,” the affidavit states. (Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputies also noted that the infant appeared to be “developmentally retarded from being locked in a cage all day,” as the home was not safe unless the infant was confined. The baby hasn’t even started crawling yet.

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With Taunya’s consent, photographs were taken inside and outside the residence to document the situation. Inside, trash, knives, and other items were strewn across the floor, there were numerous pieces of dog feces in various stages of decomposition, and a strong odor of dog urine permeated the house.

Several areas of the home also had exposed plywood floors with visible stains from old and new animal urine and feces, according to the affidavit. The kitchen counter, sink, and stove had objects blocking those areas, and no areas where food was eaten or prepared were observed.

inside the house

The affidavit states that inside the home there was a “distinct lack of adequate food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, and supervision that a reasonable person would consider essential to the well-being of the children.” stated that it is shown. (Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

Polk County Fire Rescue also responded to the home and conducted an air quality test, which found that the ammonia level inside the home was 20 ppm, even though the front door had been open an hour before the test was conducted. found.

The affidavit states that both Tonya and Devin were “uncooperative with having people inside the residence,” so a court order obtained by DCF required police to enter the residence. It is said that it became

The couple also had to clean their home for 19 days after first being contacted by DCF, but the conditions in the home remained “unhealthy and unsafe” for their children.


“Conditions in the home clearly lacked adequate food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, and supervision that a prudent person would consider essential to the well-being of the children,” the affidavit states. It shows that.”

Tawnya and Devin were both arrested and taken into custody “without incident.”