The Girl Through The Window: A Tale Of Child Neglect

July 13th 2005 will be a day that Mark Holste, a Detective of the Plant City Police Department in Florida, will remember for the rest of his life. Responding to a call from a concerned member of the public who had spotted the pale face of a young girl through the window of a neighbouring house the Hillsborough County detective made a disturbing discovery inside the dilapidated building in which the child had been seen. Entering the run-down building the police officer witnessed one of the worst cases of child neglect that he had seen in his entire career.

The Face Behind the Window

It would have been apparent to the casual observer that the property was in a state of ill-repair and not a suitable environment for people to live or raise children and other than the sighting of the girl's face through the window there was no apparent evidence that children inhabited the property. For three years children were neither seen nor heard by local residents and the overgrown garden showed no signs that children were active in it. If a girl was present in the building it was possible that the child was shut away from the rest of society and vulnerable in her isolation.

A grim discovery is made inside the run-down house

When Det. Holste, responding to the call, knocked on the door a woman answered and when she asked him what he wanted he replied that he was there to investigate reports of child neglect. As the police detective explored the house he found it to be infested with cockroaches, strewn with rubbish, filthy with old food and animal faeces as well as thick with dust and cobwebs. It was not long before he found the girl, around six-years-of-age, inside a room and when the child saw the police officer her eyes widened before she crawled like a crab to the wall and hugged her knees. CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE...
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