Man charged with child neglect after fire
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A man has been arrested and charged with child neglect after a fire broke out inside a mobile home, leaving his son hospitalized.
Broward Sheriff's Office deputies and fire rescue officials have been investigating the mobile home fire, which broke out near Northeast 49th Street and Second Avenue in Deerfield Beach, Tuesday afternoon. A 14-year-old boy was found unresponsive inside the mobile home he shared with his father, 47-year-old Darin Macdannald.
Rescue crews transported the boy, who was found emaciated and weighing only 85 pounds, to Broward Health Coral Springs. Doctors later learned that the teen had overdosed. BSO deputies then arrested Macdannald, charging him with child neglect.
Genesis Nunez, a neighbor of the teen, had noticed his state. "He was very skinny, very thin," she said.
Milagros Rey, another neighbor of the teen spoke through translation and agreed with Nunez. "He was very thin," she said. "I didn't know if he was sick. he never went out. His skin was yellow."
Broward Sheriff's Office spokesperson Keyla Concepcion said, "They did find him malnourished. Weighing 85 pounds, for a 14 year-old, that's not common."
At a bond hearing Thursday, Broward County Circuit Court Judge John Hurley, said the father could have possibly given his own son drugs. "The young man, he had unexplained red blotches on both legs that were not the result of injuries and not the result of anything that happened after the structure fire," said Hurley. "The child had dirty clothes on and appeared to be dirty all over. They did a drug screen on the child, from the child's blood and urine. He tested positive for barbiturates, opiates, cocaine and marijuana. The child appeared to have over-dosed on these substances."
Doctors also found various pills on the child, including oxycodone, codeine, and anti-anxiety medication. According to the judge, they were not prescribed to the young boy but came from the father. "Allegedly they asked you about the pills," Hurley told Macdannald at the hearing, "and you said that you hide your pills so your son can't get to them, but you couldn't explain how your son got the cocaine at 14 years old and 85 pounds."
Neighbors also said, one day before the fire, a woman living at the home died of cancer. The teen, according to neighbors, was home-schooled and rarely spoke. "Only at night, sometimes he would come out," noted Nunez.
The father also has a history of drug abuse. He is being held on a $7500 bond.
The boy remains hospitalized and will be OK. His mother lives in Colorado and will fly down to pick him up.
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