Danielle Crockett – The Feral Child

April 17, 2014 | 0

The case of Danielle Crockett may be another shocking story of a feral child. A family had lived in rundown rental house in Plant City for over three years when they saw a face of child in the window. She was a little girl and pale with dark eyes. She lifted a dirty blanket over a broken glass where she peered out as one of the neighbors remembered. Though everyone one in the neighborhood new that a woman lived in the house together with her boyfriend as well as two adult sons, they had never seen a child around there, neither had they noticed anyone play in the overgrown yard.

The little girl appeared young about 5 or 6 and thin. The girl has sunken cheeks and her eyes looked lost and when she stared right into the square of light from the sun, she slipped away as the neighbor watched. After that, months elapsed and the face was never seen reappearing again. It was around the noon of July 13th 2005 when a Plant City police turned into the outside with a car right at the shattered window. When the officers got into the room, one of them stumbled back out clutching his stomach as the rookie retched in weeds. Someone had finally informed the police of the incident and the Plant City detective Mark Holste, who had been in the force for close over 18 years, was sent to the house along the Old Sydney Road in a bid to stand by during a child abuse inquiry.

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Mark Holste and his partner found a car that had been parked outside with the driver’s door open and a woman sobbing slumped over her seat. She was an investigator from the Florida Department of Children and Families. The investigator woman told Holste that it was the worst she had even seen. She said that they had been in rooms that had bodies rotting for weeks but she had never come across such as stinking odor.

Holste later explained that it was just something indescribable- think of urine, feces, name it all. There was cat, dog, and human excretion that was smeared on walls and mashed into carpet and it was rotting and dank. Everything from the tattered curtains, dangling from bent rods of metals, the yellowish on curtain from cigarette smoke, it was all filthy. Holste further explained that walking on the floor was like walking on eggshells as you one could not take a step without crunching cockroaches.

As Holste and his team of detective looked around the house, a stout woman appeared and demanded to know what the matter was. There were people living in the house. As the detectives strode past the women, down a narrow hall, Holste turned a handle on a door that opened into a space that looked like walk in closet. As he squinted in darkness, and his feed almost stirred, he first saw the eyes of the girl. They were dark, wide, and unfocused.

The eyes were unblinking and the girl was looking at him. The girl lay on a torn and moldy mattress right on the floor with her body curled on her side. Her long legs tucked into the emaciated chest while the ribs and collarbone just jutted out. One of her skinny arms was slung over the face, and there she was with her black hair disheveled and crawling with lice. There were bites, rashes, and sores all over her skin.

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The detectives said that the pile of dirty diapers in the room was almost 4 feet high. When asked by the detectives why she could do this, the mom said that she was trying her best. She was 7 years and weighed 46 pounds, and was malnourished as well as anemic. She was taken to pediatric intensive care unit where they tried to feed her but the girl could not shallow or chew solid food so she had to be feed through IV.

She was bathed by aides and scrubbed the sores on face. The aides had to cut the tangled hair in order to be able to comb out the lice. A test and examination done by of pediatric psychology at the University of South Florida medical school, Dr. Kathleen Armstrong showed that the girl has no physical ailments such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. The scans on brain, vision, and hearing as well as genetic tests did not reveal any of conditions like autism, deaf, or other ailments. There was nothing wrong with her.

Go to Part 2 of how Danielle Crockett found love in the hands of foster parents Bernie and Diane.

Danielle Crockett pictures (including the house where she was found by detective Mark Holste)

 Danielle Crockett  pictures Danielle Crockett  house Danielle Crockett  home

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