ORLANDO, Fla. - Relatives of two of the five children who were found living in filthy conditions at an Orlando home are meeting with The Department of Children and Families Friday to try to gain custody.
The children's uncle said he had no idea the situation had gotten that bad, and had he known, he would have done something about it.
The children’s mother, Yolander Lasane, was arrested Wednesday after investigators found the family living in ankle-deep trash at her home on Piedmont Avenue in Pine Hills.
Photos from inside the house show clothing, trash, black mold, rotting wood, animal feces on floors and walls, and an insect infested bathroom.
The uncle of the children saw WFTV’s story online and reached out to Channel 9’s Karla Ray.
He said he wanted people to know that the children are loved and he would have taken them out of the situation if he’d known they were living in such conditions.
“It’s upsetting to see because we didn’t know. Like I said, we didn’t know the situation had gotten that bad,” John Lasane, of Georgia, said.
He said he never suspected Yolander Lasane was unfit to take care of her children and that when he visited her a year ago the home was in much better shape.
WFTV’s story was shared about 2,000 times on Facebook and the photos WFTV obtained were unlike any family members had ever seen.
“They didn’t tell us, ‘Hey, this is how we’re living.’ They never told us anything like that,” John Lasane said.
Yolander Lasane faces five charges of child neglect.
On her Facebook page last week she wrote, “Kill me now. These (expletives) are out of school tomorrow. All next week and I have no plans to get the hell away from them.”
In the post she also asked friends to rescue her.
Now that the home has been condemned, with everything the children owned inside, the out-of-state relatives drove to Florida to help.
“It shouldn’t have been a situation like that when you have many ways to get in touch with family, to reach out and ask for help,” John Lasane said.
The children have been placed in the care of another family member, who said she’s doing whatever she can to take care of them and keep them safe