SPRING HILL — A 57-year-old Spring Hill caregiver, who authorities say left disabled individuals and young children without supervision, has been charged with child neglect.
About 9 a.m. Thursday, Hernando deputies were called to 3387 Irondale Ave. to conduct a check after the Sheriff's Office received information from a family member that the caregiver at the house, Donnamarie Hunter, was not answering the telephone.
Deputies arrived at the house and found no vehicles. The deputies walked around the property and discovered in a bedroom two small children who were upset and frightened, refusing to come to the door to let the deputies in, according to the Sheriff's Office.
They also observed a developmentally disabled man coming out of one of the bedrooms. They later learned that a developmentally disabled woman also lives at the home but wasn't there at the time.
At some point, Hunter came to the front door and told deputies she had been at a friend's house. She then changed her story and told deputies she had been walking, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Eventually, Hunter told deputies she left the home at 9 a.m., drove to the grocery store to get milk for the children and ended up staying long enough to get food for the weekend, spending $180.
Deputies said Hunter is licensed to operate at an assisted living facility named the Princess House. She was arrested on three charges of neglect.
The Florida Department of Children and Families found housing for the two disabled people living in the home, and a caseworker was attempting to have Hunter's license revoked.
The two children were turned over to their mother.