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Port Orange Observer Monday, Jul. 22, 2019 4 weeks ago

Port Orange couple arrested after leaving baby home alone

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The 1-year-old was left alone for eight to nine hours while the two were at work, police report.
by: Alyssa Warner Staff Writer
Dillon Reid, 20. Mug Shot courtesy of Volusia County Corrections

A Port Orange couple was arrested on charges of child abuse after they left their 1-year-old home alone.

It wasn’t the first time, according to the report. 

Emilee Durning, 19, and Dillon Reid, 20, were arrested on Thursday, July 11 after someone alerted the police. When asked how many times the child was left unattended, Reid initially said two or three times. However, he later admitted “only a hand full of times,” according to the report. He explained he would leave the child with a bottle of milk and put on a video on a phone for her to watch while they were away. 

Police report the 1-year-old was left alone for eight to nine hours while both Durning and Reid worked in this instance.

Emilee Durning, 19. Mug Shot courtesy of Volusia County Corrections

The reporting officer and Department of Children and Families investigator requested to see inside their residence at the time of the investigation and they saw numerous cats and could smell ammonia upon entering the home, according to the report. The living room was cluttered and a child play pin was found in the corner with a litter of four kittens directly beside it. 

The kitchen sink was found filled with dirty dishes as well as several dirty dishes on the counter and a minimum amount of food was located within the home. Only a few food items for an infant were found, police report. 

In Durning and Reid’s bedroom, police found two caged lizards and a caged turtle and reported the bedroom and bathroom were cluttered and unclean. The 1-year-old’s room was found in similar condition. It was noted that clothing, diapers, bottles and other items were scattered across the floor. 

The third bedroom in the home contained three litter boxes that were completely soiled with feces and urine, according to the report. Cat feces was also located on the floor of the room and on bags near an infant seat and play pad.

When Reid was confronted about the smell and cleanliness, he told the officer he did his best to keep up with the cats but was too tired to deal with it most of the time, according to the report. Police noted there were approximately five grown cats and four kittens in the home, and one of the cats was pregnant.

The DCF investigator deemed the residence, along with Reid and Durning, to be unfit for the child’s well-being and is evaluating both of their parents for the potential of turning the child over into their custody. 

Upon picking the child up, she was wearing dirty clothing and smelled like ammonia even after exiting the home, according to the report. Both Reid and Durning face child abuse without great harm charges, and were placed under arrest with no bond.

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