LAKELAND — In a case that’s prompted anger and outrage, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman this week who they say would lock a 4-year-old child in a kitchen cabinet.
On Thursday, Sept. 6, Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Lori Hamilton, 42, of 5747 Cherry Tree Drive in Lakeland. She was charged her with abusing the 4-year-old boy.
The abuse, the sheriff’s office noted, did not take place at Hamilton’s home address.
Followin up on a tip, Polk detectives started an investigation into this case, and determined that Hamilton had frequently locked the 4-year-old in a kitchen cabinet, sometimes for hours.
Sometimes, detectives say, she secured the doors with screws to prevent the child from getting out.
“Detectives learned the child would be left in the cabinet for hours at a time, often crying to be let out,” noted Donna Wood, the public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, in her report on the case.
Several times, she said, the boy had been “forced to urinate or defecate on himself while locked in the cabinet.”
The home itself, detectives said, was filthy and swamped with roaches. Wood said witnesses at the scene described the home “as being ‘dirty’ and having a roach infestation.”
To demonstrate this, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office released photos to the media of the home, including the cabinet that the child was locked in.
Hamilton’s relation to the boy was not disclosed.
She was charged with child abuse and booked into the Polk County Jail on no bond.
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