VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A woman is being charged for allegedly leaving her three-month old baby who was possibly infected with scabies on someone else’s doorstep over the weekend, according to authorities.
Melissa A. Kelley, 33, of Astor, is being charged with unlawful desertion of a child and neglect of a child, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, deputies responded to the 2700 block of Sedgfield Avenue in reference to an abandoned child. When they arrived on scene they met with Patricia Tillman, who said an unknown woman, later identified as Kelley, rang her door several times, deputies said.
Kelley placed the infant, who was in a car seat, at Tillman’s feet and said she could no longer care for the child and that its father would take him, deputies said.
Kelley also told Tillman not to touch the infant since he was infected with scabies, then she fled the area, deputies said.
Tillman told deputies the infant was abandoned with a soiled diaper, a half-can of baby formula, an empty baby bottle and soiled baby towels. Kelley did not provide a list of medication or other necessities they may have needed, and also failed to ensure her child would be left in a safe and responsible care of another adult, deputies said.
Tillman said she had never met Kelley in the past. After speaking with family and friends, Tillman discovered the child’s father was her daughter’s boyfriend, Clayton Zinck, deputies said.
They attempted to contact him several times but could not reach him. His parents were contacted and said they would not retrieve the infant or wake Zinck up.
Tillman’s family members on scene showed text messages from Kelley that said, “Please don’t make me throw this baby in the trash,” and that she was going to use “drugs” to commit suicide since Clayton did not want to continue a relationship with her, deputies said.
Kelley was located in a wooded area in Astor and taken to Lake County Jail.
The infant was taken by the Florida Department of Children and Families to the hospital for treatment of his possible scabies infection. Tillman bottle-fed and changed the baby into dry clothing until DCF officials arrived, deputies said.
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