Mother charged with child neglect after Fort Myers home robbery
FORT MYERS: A call about a Lee County burglary turned into much more after deputies discovered a young girl living in a house filled with rotting food, bugs and animal waste. That girl's mom has since been charged with child neglect.
The discovery happened late Wednesday afternoon on Tice Street in Fort Myers.
Deputies say when they pulled up to Michelle Shipley's home; they immediately noticed all the trash outside and the overwhelming smell that came with it.
They say her nine-year-old girl was living in was living in deplorable conditions.
"She seemed like a very happy child. She wasn't an introvert child," said the landlord, who did not want to be identified.
The landlord says she started renting the home to Shipley two years ago.
"Quite a bit of stuff - a hoarder, to say the least," she said.
Deputies were first called to the house because a neighbor reported seeing burglars breaking into the home.
"The two boys come running out of the house and I knew that they'd been robbed," said the neighbor, who did not want to be identified either.
When detectives arrived, they found the little girl all alone and crying hysterically.
She told deputies she had hidden under a bed while the thieves ransacked her house.
And once inside the home, deputies made the disgusting discovery - animal and human feces on the floor, trash everywhere, rotting food, maggots, roaches and much more.
The young girl also had an untreated case of lice.
"We've been in the process of trying to evict her for several months," the landlord explained.
The landlord says she had no idea what was going on inside the house.
When Shipley got to the scene, she lied and told deputies she didn't have a daughter. She told them she was worried about her pet rabbit.
Shipley then told deputies she had left her child alone to go talk to a friend about a steam cleaner.
Detectives arrested her for child neglect.