A 3-year-old toddler and a 1-year-old baby were both removed from their parent’s custody after being found in an apartment in Palm Springs, FL, that was covered in animal feces, and black burn marks from a previous fire. Drug paraphernalia was also scattered throughout the apartment, including marijuana and used needles. The parents, Gwynevere Merkau, 31, and Daniel Brajon, 26, were arrested and face charges of severe child abuse and neglect.
According to their roommate Gregory Gonzalez, things had gotten out of hand when the parents did not take care of the children nor clean the apartment. Gonzalez claims that he allowed the family to move into his apartment with him when he discovered that they had been staying in a pop-up camper with no air-conditioning.
Both Merkau and Brajon have faced charges of neglect and child abuse in the past, with Merkau’s other children being placed in the custody of her sister in Tampa, FL by the Department of Children and Families. Merkau is reportedly a heroin addict and Brajon also admits to using drugs.
At the time of discovery, the 3-year-old was found in a dirty diaper and was noted to be unable to speak beyond grunts. The 1-year-old on the other hand is the most concerning, as the baby was born in the bathtub of the apartment, and has never been registered with the Department of Vital Statistics. Neither child has seen a doctor that the parents can recall.
Admitting to drug use and deplorable living conditions for your babies? What a damn shame! Give ’em time and get those babies to someone who will raise them right!