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Parents arrested after 4-year-old child found trapped in Franklin County woods

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Posted at 11:44 AM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 12:01:25-05

EASTPOINT, Fla. (WTXL) — The parents of a missing 4-year-old Eastpoint girl who was found by drone just yards away from her home have been arrested for child neglect after deputies found dog feces, urine and live rats inside the family's home.

On Thursday, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a missing 4-year-old child on Ridge Road in Eastpoint.

Both parents, Sabrina C. Berry and Marcus A. Howard, reported that they had not seen the child since “last night” when they put her to bed. When they woke at 12:30 p.m., the child was not in her bed.

As deputies approached the front door of the home, they noticed a "strong, foul odor" coming from the inside of the residence.

Deputies say the home was in complete disarray, dog feces, urine and garbage covering the floors. Rotten food, ashtrays full of cigarette butts, and bags full of clothing also blocked the doorways of bedrooms.

When deputies tried to open a closet door to search for the child, several live rats started falling out of the ceiling. After completing a search inside the home, deputies concluded the child was not there.

Additional deputies and members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene to begin searching outside of the home, conducting a door-to-door search. The Department of Corrections K-9 Team and Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office helicopter were also requested to assist.

Within 20 minutes of the call, the sheriff’s office found the missing child with a drone.

FCSO says the child was trapped in a heavily wooded area about 100 yards from the house and was unable to free herself. She was wet, muddy and had scratches on her limbs. They note it was approximately 50 degrees outside at the time and said the child wasn't wearing any shoes or socks.

Based on the evidence, Berry and Howard were arrested and charged with child neglect.