Merritt Island man abandoned 5-year-old daughter at haunted house, deputies say

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Brevard County deputies arrested a man for child neglect after they said he dropped off his 5-year-old daughter at a haunted house Thursday evening and didn't return to pick her up.

Officials said Charles Jones left his daughter alone inside a neighborhood haunted house in Merritt Island.

According to an arrest report, a woman watched the girl for over an hour while parents tried to locate her parent in the haunted house or in the neighborhood. The woman told deputies that the child was scared during the ordeal.

According to the arrest report, Jones left the girl there with no reasonable effort to provide for her care for a minimum of two-and-a-half hours.

Officials said he never tried to go back to the haunted house until law enforcement made contact with his family.

The haunted house is at a private residence where neighbors said hundreds of people show up each year to walk through.

Jones' next court date is set for December 3.

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