Cape woman accused of neglect
A Cape Coral woman is accused of both child neglect and neglect of a disabled adult.
Lisa Rene Velez, 46, of Southwest 16th Place, was arrested and charged Sunday with neglect child without great bodily harm and crimes against person neglect elderly disabled adult without great harm. As of Tuesday, she remained at the Lee County Jail on $4,000 bond, according to booking records.
She could not be reached for comment on the allegations.
On Sunday, the Department of Children and Families responded to Velez’s residence for an intake report requiring an emergency response. Lee County Domestic Animal Services was already on scene for a report of several diseased and sick cats in the home. Cape officers were called for assistance.
According to an arrest report, an autistic girl and an autistic woman resided with Velez.
Inside the home, authorities found trash and miscellaneous debris. Every room appeared to contain takeout boxes, old food and dirty clothes, along with roaches, ants and spiders. There appeared to be cat feces and vomit on the floor and furniture, and it smelled like body odor, feces and spoiled food.
The refrigerator contained moldy food and roaches.
DCF asked to see one of the residents and Velez unlocked a bedroom, where the person was located. The resident appeared dirty and had not showered in days. The room smelled of urine and feces.
When asked about the locked door, Velez allegedly said the resident liked it that way.
Velez’s estranged husband reportedly told authorities that he had recently returned after being away for a year and was appalled at the conditions. He had tried to clean, but Velez would physically stop him.
According to the report, Velez could not understand what the problem was, nor why everyone was making such a “big deal.” Her clothes were dirty and she appeared to have not showered in days.
The autistic woman was taken to the Cape Coral Hospital for a medical evaluation. She apparently had not been given her medication, and she was later transported to a facility for adults with disabilities.
Velez was taken into custody, and she advised that she wanted a lawyer.
Lee County Domestic Animal Services cited her for eight counts of animal cruelty.
Velez has a court appearance scheduled for June 24.