Sarasota deputies arrest woman, say kids lived in 'horrific cond - WNCN: News, Weather

Sarasota deputies arrest woman, say kids lived in 'horrific conditions'

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Donnalee Ballard, 22, is charged with two counts of child neglect. Sarasota County Jail booking photo Donnalee Ballard, 22, is charged with two counts of child neglect. Sarasota County Jail booking photo
VENICE, FL (WFLA) - A Venice woman faces two charges of child neglect and is being held in jail without bond after Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies say they discovered two toddlers living in "horrific conditions".

Deputies went to a home at 9055 South Tamiami Trail Tuesday evening looking for a wanted sex offender. Donnalee Ballard, 22, was at the home and told deputies that the suspect lived with her and they could wait for him because he would be home soon.

The deputies waited inside the home and say they saw two children, ages one and two, walking barefoot on floors covered in garbage, blood and rotting food. The deputies say dirty diapers were smashed into the carpet and beer and drug paraphernalia were also scattered around.

Ballard admitted being addicted to drugs and shooting up that day while the children were in the next room, according to deputies.

More Sarasota news: Sarasota woman hospitalized after driving into canal

Deputies requested that Sarasota County EMS personnel evaluate the children. One child had a high fever. Ballard told deputies that the child had a fever the day before and said she did not have medication and did not get medical treatment for the child.

The Florida Department of Children and Families took custody of the children and Ballard was arrested.

Sex offender James Denegall, who the deputies were originally looking for, was also arrested for violating probation.

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