Two adults were arrested in Cape Coral and could each face seven counts of child neglect. The arrests come after seven children were found to be living in terrible conditions and may also have been abused.
One of the kids living inside the home showed bruising on his back, which is referred to as a sign of possible abuse.
Shuttered windows, a sign on the door, and trash often piled up in the front yard made neighbors suspicious of what was going on inside the home.
“It was a pretty large pile; almost makes you question whether they’re hoarding or where it’s all coming from,” said Ann Kotz.
“I just thought they were maybe dirty,” said Alexandra Vega.
The neighbors say they didn’t suspect that Andrew and Karleigh Awis weren’t taking care of their seven children. Yet, Cape Coral police arrested the couple on seven counts each of child neglect.
An incident report says that one of the kids suffered bruising on his back and that one of the adults punched and hit him.
Kotz says she never saw anyone hit the kids. However, she did hear some yelling. “That’s pretty normal over there to hear the father screaming at the kids, some pretty rough language to be using with little toddlers and the neighbors have all heard that.”
Now that police have stepped in, neighbors say they’re saddened to see that their suspicions about what was going on inside of the home may have been correct.
Most importantly, they hope the seven kids who did live there are now in safe hands.
“My heart just aches for the kids,” Kotz said.
“I wish this was not true, but for the kids, just the best outcome. It’s pretty sad for any of the children,” Vega said.
Cape PD also got the Department of Children and Families involved. A DCF agent set up a plan to safely remove the seven children.
WINK News asked where the kids are right now but we have not yet heard back. Both parents have bonded out of jail as of Monday evening.