DCF visited family before arrest of Brevard County parents accused of child neglect

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Brevard County mother and father are under investigation after police said they slept outside with their 2-month-old for weeks with drugs just feet away.

The Department of Children and Families had been called out to the house once before the arrests.

The parents were taken to the Brevard County Jail on child neglect charges Tuesday.

A family member, who was not identified, said the couple was caring for a 2-month-old boy, and police said that child was sleeping outside.

Glenda Massey lives across the street from where police say Denero Benn and Lesa Nolin were staying with their baby on a screened porch.

“I have no idea why they would be outside and not in the house,” she said.

According to an arrest report, the child's grandfather said the child became sick from sleeping outside in the cold.

"To think of a newborn baby being out at night, it hurts to know that a child like that is not being taken care of,” Massey said.

The arrest report said there was "one blanket on the concrete floor" and "drug paraphernalia and drugs scattered around the porch."

Police also found garbage bags and feces within 2 feet of the blanket.

The report said DCF workers came to the house three weeks before the arrests and gave the parents a chance to improve living conditions.

"If they saw anything, they should have taken the baby,” Massey said.

DCF said it can't release specific details on this case when asked why the child was not taken away after the first visit.

The agency said the general guidelines for removing children from their parents is when the children are considered to be in immediate danger, or in cases with serious illness or injuries due to neglect or abuse.

The family member said the child is safe and with family. She said the child is healthy.

DCF said there is a safety plan in place for the family.