laura-donovan.jpgI am so mad right now and perhaps I shouldn’t be writing this while I am fuming but I needed to do so. Yesterday, in Miramar Beach, Florida, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 27 year old woman, Katherine Donovan, for child neglect.

According to the report a unknown citizen spotted a 4 year old little girl walking along on Holiday Drive all alone. When they approached the child she said she couldn’t find her parents or where she lived.

When the police arrived, Deputy Thomas Thillet spoke to the little girl and got her to get into his patrol car so they could go look for her home and parents. After driving about a half of a mile away she spotted the home she lived in and told the officer that was her house.

Deputy Thillet knocked on the door and when Donovan answered the door, he asked her if she was aware that her daughter was missing. He reported that she did not show any sign of concern when he tried to explain to her how dangerous it was for a child to be walking alone a half a mile away from their home on a highway.

Deputy Thillet said after they did further investigation on the case, they became aware that Thillet was presently on probation for child neglect. So due to these circumstances all of Donovan’s children were placed in the care of the woman’s grandmother while the Florida Department of Children and Families have a chance to investigate it themselves.

Donovan was booked into the Walton County jail as she was charged with one count of child neglect which is a third degree felony.

Other than the fact that this mother apparently was not concerned at all about her daughter missing, which is enough alone to make me mad, but the fact that she has been on probation already for child neglect. I have to wonder if that is the case, why in the world this woman still has her children.

I have written about a lot of missing children in the past 3 ½ years and it really gets under my skin to hear about these kind of cases and the kids being handed back to the parents. In several cases that I have written about, the child involved ended up dead one way or another and the only excuse given by the Department of Children and Families is that they are understaffed.

I for one am sick of that excuse. I mean we do live in America, right? We should be protecting our children of our country, who are the future of America, better than this. The government needs to allow more money for the DCF to employ more people so they can take care of the cases they receive. I have said this before. Let them hire volunteers to help out. They can sit in the offices while the trained personnel go out in the field to keep an eye on the kids in question. Being understaffed is no excuse to neglect the well being of a child that is known to be in danger.

To give a neglected child back with the very parents that were accused of neglecting them, would be putting that child in more danger if you ask me. That would be like someone giving Casey Anthony another baby to watch, knowing darn good and well she would eventually do something else with that child when she was ready to go party with friends and couldn’t find a babysitter.

What is wrong with our government? Someone please answer this for me.

I pray this child and any other sibling she may have will be protected by our system. Please God, don’t let our system fail this child too.

Jan Barrett

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