GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — Gainesville police arrested two parents Friday who they said abandoned their children for eight hours, leading to a 3-year-old’s death.
In a Friday release, police said Donrea McLaughlin, 22, and Sean Lee II, 26, called law enforcement on Sept. 1, saying that she found her child unresponsive after she woke up from a nap.
However, investigators learned that McLaughlin and Lee left the 3-year-old and her sibling alone at home for eight hours while they worked.
“McLaughlin and Lee both attended work and did not arrange for or provide care for the toddlers nor were the children even checked on,” the Gainesville Police Department said.
When the suspects got home from work, they found that the 3-year-old was not breathing, officials said.
According to police, a history of abuse and neglect led to the 3-year-old’s death and injury to the surviving sibling, who was treated at a local hospital on Sept. 1.
While police continued their investigation, the couple fled Gainesville and traveled to Atlanta, where they were later arrested on a probable cause warrant.
Detectives said the couple was charged with felony murder, two counts of aggravated child abuse, and two counts of child neglect. They were given a bond of $4.5 million.