ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Jeffeth Garvey and his girlfriend Antoinette Mundy are now facing charges after Florida police said they neglected a man with special needs.
“Someone who submitted a complaint to an abuse hotline,” St. Petersburg Police Department Public Information Specialist Ashley Limardo said. “They’re stating this individual was forced to live outside.”
News 2’s sister station, WFLA, spoke with a man Thursday who said he knew the victim and gave him food. When asked about the alleged neglect, the man described this story as “torture.”
Jail records led to a home in St. Petersburg that had a wooded-type shelter in the backyard with a roofing material covering the top — the alleged home of the non-verbal victim.
“Our officers located this 22-year-old man that was covered in feces, in not very great condition, seemed very malnourished,” Limardo explained.
Even though he was given food, police said he preferred to eat trash out of nearby garbage cans.
“No one, no matter the circumstances, should be living in these types of living conditions,” Limardo said.
“How important is it that when you see something, you say something?” WFLA reporter Nicole Rogers asked. “Especially in cases like this when the victim is unable to speak up.”
“It’s extremely important because how long could this have continued if we had not known?” Limardo rhetorically asked. “It’s important if anyone knows, if you or someone else possibly going through something like this, just come forward.”
“There’s no repercussion to the person who comes forward, and it also allows us to remove someone living in these terrible conditions,” Limardo added.
If you or someone you know are living in these conditions, you can report it to the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE. Reports are accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.