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Clearwater couple charged with neglect when maintenance man finds two children alone

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater couple was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a maintenance man discovered their two children in an apartment by themselves, police say.

Marcelina Cruz-Tlanepantla, 34, and Juan Quezada-Garcia, 38, live at 2065 N Highland Ave. with their 7-year-old and 1-year-old. According to city spokeswoman Joelle Castelli, a maintenance man entered their apartment unit at about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday to repair an appliance. He found the two children home alone, and he called authorities.

Clearwater police determined the two children had been left in the apartment since 7 a.m., Castelli said. Authorities say the parents frequently left the 7-year-old to care for the 1-year-old for the whole day while they were at work. The gender of the children was not available, Castelli said.

The couple said they left their children home alone because they could not afford day care, Castelli said.

Cruz-Tlanepantla and Quezada-Garcia were both charged with child neglect. Both were being held at the Pinellas County Jail Wednesday evening in lieu of $10,000 bail.

The children were taken into the custody of the Pinellas County Child Protection Investigations.

Clearwater couple charged with neglect when maintenance man finds two children alone 08/11/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 6:21pm]
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