TAMPA — A Tampa woman was arrested Sunday morning on felony child neglect counts after police searching for the 8-year-old son she reported missing say they found her kids living in squalor.
The boy was found sleeping safely at a neighbor's home. He and three more of the mother's children were taken into custody by child protective investigators.
Tylarnda Anderson, 24, of 1312 W Main St., had reported her son, Torry Brown, missing at 12:10 a.m. Sunday — almost 12 hours after she had last seen him, Tampa police said.
Officers searched the neighborhood and found out from another 8-year-old that Torry was actually sleeping at a neighbor's apartment. Officers found him there just before 7 a.m.
But when police responded to Anderson's call, they said they found her residence in deplorable conditions, including cockroaches, soiled diapers on the floor and three dirty children who had no beds or adequate clothing.
Police also said they discovered during their investigation that Anderson routinely failed to properly supervise the children, between the ages of 2 and 8, and often allowed them to stay out until midnight.
Anderson is the primary caregiver for all four children, a police report stated.
Once Torry was found, officers arrested Anderson on four counts of child neglect. She was released Sunday afternoon from the Hillsborough County Jail after posting a bond toward her $8,000 bail.
Police said the Florida Department of Children and Families took custody of all four children.
State records show that Anderson had been arrested in Florida once before, on a 2009 charge of driving without a valid license.
News researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.