Parents Arrested for Neglect After Dead Body Is Found in Their Home


Ugh. In news that just keeps getting worse the more you read, a couple in Florida was arrested yesterday on charges of child neglect and endangerment. Todd Christopher La Duke and Nicole Louise Scalise were living in a “house of horrors” in Daytona Beach with their three children aged 11, 6, and 4.

The house reeked with dog urine and feces, and police found evidence of bath salt drug abuse. Oh, also there was a dead body in late stages of decomposition. And the couple was cashing the dead woman’s Social Security checks and food stamps.

Police were called for a well-being check after the Department of Children and Families hadn’t been able to contact the homeowner in almost two months. The body is thought to be 33-year-old Tiffany Kain -- who owned the home where she had been living on and off with the disturbed couple for years. She had spinal bifida and was wheelchair-bound, hence the Social Security checks.

Police Chief Mark Barker was shocked by the scene. He said, “It was like a house of horrors for Halloween. It was awful. You could smell the body from 150 feet away … this is one of the worst cases of child neglect and child endangerment that I've seen in my 31 years here."

The couple admitted to cashing in Kain’s benefits, but denied any knowledge of her death. They said they thought she had left the home. Um … ok. They were arrested for child endangerment and for failing to report a death to the medical examiner, and La Duke is also being charged with theft of utility services.

The children are in protective custody (Thank God! Poor babies.) and Kain’s death has been deemed “suspicious.” Police ordered a toxicology report and autopsy to determine cause of death.

Did I mention ugh? Such a sad, horrible story.

Does your heart break for those kiddos?


Image via Victor/Flickr

child abuse, cruise, death, disability, human rights, in the news, law


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Elaine Cox

if they murdered the homeowner or deprived her of medical the very least this looks like manslaughter....they are in a lot more trouble than cashing checks and child neglect

wamom223 wamom223

Yes, my heart is totally broken for those kids.  And I know I'm not suppose to feel this way, but this is when I wonder why I have fertility issues and this scum of the earth got three lives to ruin.  I wish more parents understood what a blessing their children are and that parenthood is the most important job/privilege of your life and there are no do overs.  I hope these two literally rot in prison, and I really hope the other mom's in prison know what this woman did to her kids.

Tracy... Tracyann721

I hope and pray for these kids futures. Unfortunately at this point, that type of lifestyle is completely normal to them. I can only imagine what they were exposed to, and foster care is better, but still doesn't promise a better life. Poor babies.

IHear... IHeartCake

That not one but two adults were willing to live in a house with a deceased body must show just how horrendous these drugs damage a person's brain. This level of child abuse, along with such exploitation of a disabled person, and either murder or failure to contact 911 when they realized the woman was not conscious, deserves life in prison.

I'm amazed the children did not starve.  Please tell me these people will not be put on some sort of plan by CPS that enables them to regain custody.  (Though they really should not get out of prison.) Please tell me that a stable loving relative can be found who wants all 3 children. 

Mrseoc Mrseoc

those poor children.

Mamang Mamang

Spina bifida, not spinal.

Larry Mitchell

Florida is a lawless swamp filled with morons, molesters and meth.  No surprises here.

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