Rikki Hart; Donnell Barron

Donell Barron, 34, and Rikki Hart, 34, were arrested Sunday after authorities say a deputy found five malnourished children living in a car at a Wal-Mart in Greenacres, Fla., the Palm Beach Post reports.

It's unclear what the relationship is between Barron, Hart and the five kids, ages 4, 5, 6, 8 and 14. The 14-year-old found weighed just 50 pounds, authorities said.


According to the report, Barron told law enforcement that the family had been forced to live in the car after they lost their home in Port St. Lucie, Fla., a year ago and ran out of money for hotels, causing them to live in the car for about two months. The children had also never enrolled in school and were home-schooled in the vehicle, authorities said.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the 14-year-old, standing at 4 feet 5 inches, only weighed 5 pounds more than his 8-year-old sibling.  A report described him as "severely underweight to the point that his bones were clearly visible." All of the children were deemed underweight in the report.

Deputies were told that the children only ate about once a day and then, only salad and bread. None of the children had seen a doctor in "years," according to the police report.

The children are now in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families after being taken to Palms West Hospital.


The police report states that unlike the children, Hart and Barron appeared to be in good health. The two are being held in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail. They both face five counts of child neglect.

Read more at the Palm Beach Post.

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