Parents who allegedly allowed their children to live among piles of cat feces and filth were each slapped with a child neglect charge after the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office was called out to the trailer they were
living in after a complaint was made by EMS workers regarding the shape of the residence.
Thomas Phouthavong, 27, and Brandie Washington, 27, both of Navarre, were slapped with a Child Neglect (Without Great Harm) charge after the findings and put behind bars at Santa Rosa County Jail last Friday. They later posted $10,000 bond each.
According to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, a SRCSO deputy was dispatched to the home on Valerie Lane in Navarre last Friday after EMS workers arrived at the residence regarding a separate call and noticed the condition of the trailer that had multiple people — including more than one child — living in it
Upon arriving on scene, the deputy spoke with Washington who told the officer that “she wished (the person who called EMS) didn’t call 911 because she knew if EMS showed up, they would contact the SRCSO” about the condition of the residence, the report stated.
Washington told law enforcement that both her, Phouthavong, and their children had been living in one of the rooms in the trailer for approximately 4 – 5 months.
The deputy later entered the trailer and “could immediately smell the strong odor of cat urine and cat feces”, the report stated.
The report indicated that the deputy noticed a cat litter box in the kitchen that was “overflowed” with feline waste, and that some of the feces had poured out of it was “smeared around on the kitchen floor”. There were also other piles of dog and cat urine and feces around the kitchen, according to the report.
When the officer was in the kitchen, the report stated that there were so many dirty dishes on the kitchen counter and kitchen floor that the kitchen counter was “hardly visible” due to the amount of dishes that were stacked up.
When the officer attempted to go in the couple’s bedroom, he was barely able to get the door open, due to the amount of clothes that were piled up inside of the room, the report indicated. The officer noted in the report that he was physically unable to get into the couple’s bedroom due to the amount of clothes that were on the floor.
From what the officer was able to see inside of the bedroom, the couple and their children did not have beds. Instead they slept on “what appeared to be clothes piles turned into beds”, the report stated. The report did indicate that there was a crib in the corner of the bedroom.
Upon entering the bathroom in the residence, the officer noted that the counter tops, toilet and shower all appeared to not have been cleaned “in months” they had so much grime on them, the report indicated.
The officer noted in the report that as he was walking through the trailer there were “numerous” flies flying around the residence and that the trailer has a fly trap in it that had “hundreds” of dead flies on it.
Based on the condition of the residence, both Phouthavong and Washington were arrested and put behind bars at Santa Rosa County Jail.
According to the Santa Rosa County Jail View website, Phouthavong has been arrested a total of 19 times in Santa Rosa County.
Washington has only one prior arrest in Santa Rosa County according to the county jail’s website.
According to SRCSO Public Information Officer Sgt. Rich Aloy, during calls like this, the Department of Children and Families is always dispatched to the home to investigate. He could not directly comment on what happened to these children individually, but said if DCF responds to a law enforcement call, they typically take the children out of the home.
“DCF is always called out to these types of incidents, and they take the kids with them,” Aloy said. “If it’s a matter of infestation inside of the home, then the Department of Health gets involved. But the children get taken away once we get involved.”