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Couple charged with child neglect after feces found smeared on walls of child’s bedroom

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jana Smith Ronan, 67, and John Francis Ronan, 60, were arrested late last night and charged with two counts of child neglect after a Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigator called Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officers to their home following a DCF investigation.

According to the arrest report, the Ronans have been the primary providers for two children for about 14 years, and recently DCF received an allegation of alcohol abuse in the home by both adults. The DCF investigator reported that the conditions she found when she entered the house caused her to call her legal team and immediately remove the children from the home; the GPD officers were called to protect the DCF investigator during that process.

The GPD officer reported that he saw dried feces smeared on the walls in one child’s room “that had very clearly been there for an extended period of time.” The child’s bed reportedly did not have sheets on it and was also covered in feces. The officer also reported that there was trash throughout the home, molding food on the children’s bedroom floors, and “dirty dishes piled up on every inch of counter space to include on the floor” in the kitchen. The officer also noted that there did not appear to be a functioning refrigerator in the home.

The DCF investigation reportedly found that neither adult could remember the last time the children had seen a doctor, and one child was reportedly not taking prescribed medication.

John Ronan was also arrested at 6:30 a.m. on October 30 and charged with DUI after an officer made contact with him while responding to a call about a disturbance. The officer wrote that Ronan was standing beside his car with his keys in his pocket and with dogs in the car; Ronan reportedly told the officer that his dogs had gotten loose and that he had been driving around the neighborhood to find them. The officer reported that Ronan had bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on his feet, and he arrested him for driving under the influence. Ronan reportedly refused to give a breath sample. He was later released on his own recognizance. The First Appearance Order states that Ronan works as an Uber driver.

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Jana Smith was convicted of DUI in 2019 and was sentenced to one year of probation.

Bail information is currently unavailable.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Is he the same John Ronan who had to be blocked from commenting on Facebook??? The one with TDS? Imagine that….

  • Put the two of them in a room with a bowl of water, blunt instrument, make it fair – break one of his arms. Chain the the two of them together with enough slack that one benefits only by causing harm to the other.
    They don’t have to hurt one another but they only have their own feces for sustenance.

    Don’t care much for people who treat children the way they allegedly did.

    • An adopted disabled mentally challenged teen can cause challenges to parents that are unimaginable. Society needs to help parents of disabled adopted children. I worked for five years for the State of Florida, DCF, cleaning up after mentally challenged/ mentally ill adult men, and women who would use their bodily fluids to manipulate their caregivers. The State of Florida couldn’t afford diapers for the developmentally disabled adults which posed impossible conditions in trying to transport them to church, doctor’s appointments, etc. Please save judgement unless you’ve tried caring for the disabled. Parents of the disabled need help.

  • They’re probably good christian people doing what the Lord wanted them to do. I bet a million dollars they’re quoted saying that somewhere in the report

  • The Ronans were overwhelmed with one of the children who was uncontrollable. They tried giving these children everything they had, and were loving parents. But at one point DCF should have been involved in helping the parents with a disabled teen. Please don’t pass judgement unless you know the whole story.

  • I knew Jana when she worked at UF. She’s a really good person. Alcohol was involved here, but Melanie R. is making some good points: Jana and John took on two kids that would otherwise have been hard to place. It’s easy to be harsh, but ask yourself how the newspaper story would look from the worst day of your own life.

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