Couple arrested on claims they left child living alone without food, furniture

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Two Escambia County suspects are facing charges for allegedly leaving a child alone at home for months.

Jennifer Nichols, 34, and Joshua Sanders, 32, both have been charged with one count of neglecting a child causing great bodily harm.

The pair's Escambia County Sheriff's Office arrest report claims a juvenile male was left alone at a trailer rented by Nichols and Sanders, and the child went without food or furniture for a period of time until their arrest Nov. 30.

The witness who reported the alleged neglect said she rented the trailer, in the 4800 block of Sierra Drive, to Nichols and Sanders since the beginning of September, but it became apparent they didn't actively live there, just the child. 

The witness said she tried to care for the child as best she could, but it wasn't as much as he needed. The woman told police she contacted Sanders and Nichols to say they either needed to move in or move the child somewhere he had an actual guardian, at which point Sanders allegedly said it was not her problem as long as he paid the rent.

The child, whose age is not included in the report, said he had been living alone for about two months. He said he did talk with Sanders and Nichols occasionally and they would provide him with a small amount of money and one or two meals, but he said he wasn't able to contact them often.

He said he hadn't been to school in months, and the Florida Department of Children and Families was involved in several cases of his but he didn't know who the caseworkers were. 

The child said he didn't have any furniture and only had clothes and shoes at the trailer. 

Sanders allegedly told investigators he wasn't responsible for the child because he'd been emancipated, but the child said he was not.

Nichols and Sanders were arrested and the child was taken into DCF custody.

Escambia County Jail records show both Sanders and Nichols were booked Nov. 30 and remain in custody as of Monday afternoon, in lieu of a $250,000 and $150,000 bond, respectively.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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