Up to 10 kids removed from their Fort Myers homes in the last three weeks

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Child removal sign outside Fort Myers home. (Credit: WINK News)
Child removal sign outside Fort Myers home. (Credit: WINK News)

Investigators say a Fort Myers home is too dangerous for anyone to live in it. Two babies were sleeping near fentanyl as the apartment was littered with the drug and trash.

Up to 10 children were removed from three homes in the last three weeks. The Fort Myers Police Dept. and the Florida Department of Children and Families are calling these homes unsafe and unsanitary for any human.

According to the incident report, children in one home were found malnourished along with unsanitary conditions, which included blood and feces in the bedrooms.

“It’s not that the house is messy or dirty – it’s that it’s unsafe, unsanitary,” said Dr. Laura Streyffeler, a licensed mental health counselor. “People would be surprised by the conditions that some people are forced to live in and sometimes they’re inhuman conditions.”

The latest was Thursday off Lucille Ave. The City of Fort Myers said 12 people were living in the home, including two 1-month-old babies. The city posted signs outside the home, which declared, “unfit for human habitation.”

Streyffeler knows all too well these types of homes. She used to conduct home visits, looking for child neglect for DCF. The threshold to remove kids is high, based upon requirements to take the children out and to keep them out, she said.

Despite repeated removals, FMPD tells WINK News there is no crackdown or task force. It is a product of excellent teamwork on the part of officers and partnering agencies. They will continue to do so if they are discovered or reported.

“It’s not saying that it’s criminal,” Streyffeler said. “If there’s nothing wrong, then they just check it out and leave shortly thereafter. You could be saving a child’s life.”


Streyffeler understands that it is a significant decision for neighbors to report something. But you can do it anonymously by submitting a tip to the DCF website or at its hotline, 1 (800) 96-ABUSE.

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