4 charged after 7 children found living in filth in Miami Gardens

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Two couples living together in Miami Gardens are facing some serious charges after, authorities said, their seven children were found living in deplorable conditions at the Miami Gardens home the families share.

Miami Gardens Police responded to the home on the 3000 block of Northwest 164th Street in reference to a sick child, Sunday, at around 11:30 p.m.

Investigators said they found some of the children, ages 2 to 9, on mattresses covered in roaches. There were roaches and rats all over the residence, as well as trash and feces on the floor.

The arrest report read, “The house had rat droppings on the floor, and officers on the scene observed several rats running around inside the house.”

Officers also found soiled diapers all over the house and in the front yard.

Police said there was no food in the refrigerator, and it appeared the children, ranging in age from 2 to 9, had not eaten in several days. When asked when was the last time he’d had something to eat, the oldest child told officers he could not remember.

The child that prompted the call to police was transported to Jackson Health North with a severe infection of the mouth.

Meanwhile, the Department of Children and Families responded to the scene and removed the other children.

The three parents on the scene tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. They were then placed under arrest. The mother of the child that was transported to the hospital was later taken into custody.

The parents were identified as Rolando Arteaga, Jacqueline Garcia Zuniga, Miosotiz Rodriguez and Hugo Zuniga. Garcia Zuniga is Hugo Zuniga’s sister, and she is married to Arteaga.

Foul-smelling piles of furniture, trash and dirt-covered toys sat on the home’s front yard, Tuesday afternoon. “Just outside, the trash, debris and all the mold and stuff on all the couches and stuff, it’s very disturbing,” said neighbor Angelo Jones.

A 7News crew walked around fly-covered filth and feces in order to make it to the front door. Rodriguez answered the door, and she appeared to be speaking with someone on the phone. “I have Channel 7 in my house,” said the 28-year-old.

Seconds later, she asked the crew to leave the property. “I’m sorry. You need to go,” she said.

When asked whether she was one of the parents who were arrested, she replied, “No.” Shortly after, she slammed the door shut.

Speaking in Spanish, an elderly area resident put her hands to her face in horror when told about the arrests. “Oh, My God,” she said.

“They need parenting lessons, and it’s horrible,” said another neighbor.

All four parents, accompanied by extended family, appeared in court Tuesday. The judge told them that anyone wanting to take custody of the children would have to submit to a drug test on Tuesday.

The children will remain in foster care for the time being.

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