DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — The only food a city police detective found at Cassandra Goldsmith’s house on Wednesday was some old cooked sausage in a pan on the stove.
“There were flies on most of the pieces,” DeFuniak Springs police said in an incident report.
Two refrigerators under a carport at the home, as well as shelves and a pantry inside the house, were found empty of food, while several roaches were found in the cupboards and on the floors, police said.
Also found in Goldsmith’s home on Fredrick Drive were four children, ages 5 to 16. The 16-year-old had been taking care of her two 11-year-old and one 5-year-old siblings for four days while Goldsmith visited her boyfriend in Niceville, police said.
The oldest child missed several days of school because she was forced to take care of the other children, police said. They also said that a relative and a friend of Goldsmith apparently brought supper on a few occasions, but the children had not been eating regularly.
Goldsmith, 36, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of child neglect without causing great bodily harm after leaving the children at home for four days without enough food. She remained in the Walton County Jail as of Thursday afternoon.
Police said Goldsmith showed up at her house Wednesday while officers were there. Goldsmith said she had made several calls to a relative to pick her up in Niceville and bring her home but could never find a ride, according to the incident report.
“Cassandra stated that she had ordered pizza on Sunday” for the kids “but didn’t arrange for food any time after that,” police said.
During their investigation, police reportedly found the butt end of a marijuana cigarette on the floor between the beds of the two 11-year-olds.
“Cassandra stated that she didn’t know how it got there,” police said. “She stated she smoked marijuana, but never inside the home.”
A state Department of Children and Families official took the children from the home and placed them with another family member, according to the incident report.