A Florida couple has been arrested and charged with child neglect after reportedly not seeking treatment for their daughter's mouth full of rotten teeth.
The parents, 32-year-old Cynthia Grace Maloy and 31-year-old Jeremie Ervin Maloy, of Bay County, Florida, are under order not to contact their daughter unless a judge authorizes it, reports the Panama City News Herald.
Court records show that the couple posted their $1,500 bonds and appeared in court on Nov. 6 to answer to the allegations against them.
They were taken into police custody days before that, after a Bay County Sheriff's Office investigation determined that they knew that the girl had 17 rotten teeth but did nothing about it.
This was the second investigation into the matter, after officials looked into the case again on Oct. 30, due to reports that the parents had made "no efforts to correct the child’s teeth," even as her adult teeth "had begun to grow in and overlap her rotten, ruptured teeth," said officers.
The claims go back as far as the start of the 2016 school year, when the girl reportedly showed up to class with what BCSO described in a report as "severely decayed teeth." The Department of Children and Families officially began investigating in February; in March, authorities found that Cynthia had taken the girl to a doctor and said that due to the severity of the tooth decay, she had been turned away by a local dentist as well as the school's dental bus.
"When asked why necessary extractions were not performed, Cynthia and her husband, Jeremie, gave vague excuses about changes in insurance and a lack of transportation," officers wrote in a report.
The report added: "Throughout this time, Jeremie admitted that he was aware of the child's decayed teeth and that his wife was having difficulty making necessary appointments."
The student complained that she had pain every single day for the past two years, and she could only eat soft foods like bananas, teachers said during interviews with investigators.
Though the girl's name and age have been withheld, most adult teeth come in between the ages of 6 and 12 for the majority of children, notes Cleveland Clinic.
Around the time of the investigation, faculty members at the girl's school visited the Maloys' home to try and schedule dentist appointments for her with included transportation, but Cynthia always turned them down, notes the Panama City News Herald.
"The Maloys never took advantage of this offer for the sake of the child, but Cynthia Maloy did ask for rides to the nearby dollar store to buy cigarettes and food," read the police report.
When the parents were arrested, the girl still had not seen a dentist to fix her teeth, so officials were unsure whether the neglect would continue to affect her even after her adult teeth developed.