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THREE CHILDREN FOUND IN FOUL PASCO HOME

The youngsters were found playing in a room covered in human feces, the Sheriff's Office says.

This is what investigators saw at 1647 Hammock Ave. on Thursday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office:

Human feces splattered on the floor, walls and ceiling in a room where three children, all under the age of 10, played. Cockroaches. Containers of bleach, bug spray and a rusty wire cutter within reach of the children.

The three children were removed from the home, according to the Sheriff's Office. Their 33-year-old caregiver, Adam Hawker Cluff, was arrested on a charge of child neglect.

"This was not the first time our investigators had been there to advise the caregivers to correct an unhealthy situation," said Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

When asked if there could be more arrests, Doll said the case is still under investigation. He said the children are either in the care of a relative or in foster care, which is the procedure in situations like this. He would not describe the relationship between Cluff and the children because of the nature of the charges.

According to Cluff's arrest report, he told investigators the children throw their feces - but said he allows them to play in the room where they do it.

This is his first arrest in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Cluff's arrest report lists him as unemployed.

Cluff's sister, Carrie Lopez, lives in Utah and hadn't heard about her brother's arrest until a reporter called Friday evening.

"This is shocking," she said. "I'm surprised. This doesn't seem right to me."

She said her brother is married and the couple have children together. Lopez said she has visited them in Florida, though not at the Hammocks Avenue home.

"I never saw any such thing," Lopez said, of the description investigators gave of the family's living environment.

She said everything seemed normal and that her brother cares for his children.

Cluff was released from the Land O'Lakes jail Friday afternoon. He could not be reached for comment.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

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