BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Chrissa Kenta Taylor, 29, was arrested yesterday after her 4- and 5-year-old sons were found several blocks from their home in the middle of the night. The children said they were hungry and looking for food.
According to the arrest report, a 911 call was received at 4:45 a.m. on May 10 to report that two children were wandering in the 1700 block of NW 13th Street without any supervision. Gainesville Police Department officers located the children and determined that they were ages 4 and 5. The children were wearing only boxers, and the temperature was in the 50s.
Investigators determined that the children lived in an apartment near the intersection of 13th Street and 16th Avenue and that they had walked down two flights of stairs and traveled two blocks before the 911 call. Taylor was identified as the mother of the children.
The children reportedly told officers that they left their home because they were hungry and looking for food.
Officers contacted their mother at 7:45 a.m., and she was reportedly unaware that her children had been missing for nearly 4 hours.
The children underwent a forensic interview and medical evaluation. One child reportedly said that he is hungry at home, but there is no food there; he also said that when they try to wake up their mom, she “gets mad and yells.” The other child reportedly said their mother has no money for food and that they left to go to Starbucks for a cake pop. He said they tried to wake up their mother, but she did not get up.
A medical exam reportedly found that both children are underweight; the reports on both children said they were “extremely skinny” and that their “bones are visible” through the skin.
The children also reportedly said they stay awake all night and sleep all day; they said they play on their tablets and watch TV and YouTube all the time. They reportedly said they are often left alone, without any supervision.
The investigation also found that a third child, a 13-year-old boy, is also present in the home; the investigation found that he has not been enrolled in school since March 2022 and plays video games all day.
Post Miranda, Taylor reportedly said she was asleep when the children left, that she didn’t know they had left, and that she didn’t have any money to buy food. She showed officers that her food stamp card had just reloaded on May 10 and reportedly said she had planned to buy food that day. She also reportedly said that she had pulled the 13-year-old from school because he was supposed to go to another state with his grandmother, but they don’t have a reliable car to get him there.
Taylor has been charged with two counts of child neglect without great bodily harm and has been released from the jail.
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.