Two Columbia County residents were arrested Saturday for allegedly abusing four of young children. Deputy Darrell Clay began an investigation at 438 S.W. Zierke Dr, Lake City, Fl. Deputy Clay was called by a friend of the couple stating that he had their children at his residence and needed to report abuse.
The family friend told D/S Clay that he went to the Zierke Dr. address to visit the couple. The witness did not find them home but heard a commotion from one of the bedrooms. The witness looked in the bedroom window from the outside of the home and saw three of the children inside. The children were ages 7, 5 and 2. The witness entered the unlocked home in an effort to retrieve the children. The witness found the bedroom door to be padlocked from the outside, preventing the children from leaving the room. The homes air conditioning was turned off and the house was extremely hot inside.
The witness removed the children through the bedroom window. The children complained to the witness that they were very hungry and had not eaten since the night before. No food could be found in the homes refrigerator. The witness took the children to his home and called CCSO. While at his home, the witness’s wife bathed the children as they were very dirty and had soiled themselves. Two of the children exhibited suspicious bruises as well. All of the children were covered in flea bites and the witness reports that the home was infested with fleas.
Deputy Clay spoke with the children and they stated to him that they were hit with a belt and belt buckle when they misbehaved. The 5 year old child had a large, healing laceration to his head. The children told D/S Clay that they had been locked in the room the night before when the parents left.
Deputy Clay made contact with the defendants later that same evening. Deputy Clay arrested the couple for aggravated child abuse at approximately 6:20 p.m. Both were arrested without incident. DCF investigators arrived on scene and took custody of the four children.
Christina Denise Ramirez
438 S.W. Zierke Dr
Lake City, FL
Joseph Michael Brenton
438 S.W. Zierke Dr.
Lake City, FL