Florida Family of Five Found Living in 'Filthy' Car Outside Walmart
Police say they found garbage in jam-packed car on Walmart lot.
Aug. 23, 2011 -- Three children -- one suffering second-degree burns -- were taken into protective custody Monday after they were discovered living with their parents in a "filthy" car in a Walmart parking lot.
Police were called to the parking lot Monday morning in Mount Dora, Fla., where they found the family of five living in a 1987 Cadillac Coupe de Ville full of clothes and garbage. Police told the Orlando Sentinel that days-old chicken bones were strewn about the car, along with a spoiled carton of milk and a bottle of tequila.
The illegal prescription drug clonazepam was also found in the car, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
The parents, Justin Hamilton, 31, and Kristin Harris, 26, were booked into Lake County Jail on charges of child neglect and possession of an illegal prescription drug.
The oldest child, a 7-year-old girl, was treated at the hospital for blistering second-degree burns covering her entire back, said Carrie Hoeppner, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The two boys, ages 4 and 1, were initially released to relatives before they were taken into protective custody.
"We weren't comfortable with that situation," Hoeppner told ABCNews.com
The 7-year-old was released from the hospital and into custody with her brothers.
"We hate to break families up, but there is a difference between living in poverty and squalor and filth," Hoeppner said. "And if you look at the pictures, that is obviously the case."
Hamilton, who along with Harris, denied ABCNews.com's request for a jailhouse interview, did tell the Sentinel from behind bars that it was all a misunderstanding.
He said the family had been evicted from their apartment and, after a dispute with relatives, had been forced to stay the night in their car.
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