Florida Woman Arrested Accused Of Leaving Three Toddlers, All Under The Age Of 4, Unattended At Home Overnight While She Visited Friend

A Florida woman is accused of leaving three toddlers unattended at a home overnight while she visited a friend in Shalimar, according to a Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Tracy Holstead, 30, of Crestview, is charged with three counts of child neglect in connection with the incident. 

About 1:40 a.m., the OCSO received a call from the state Department of Children and Families in reference to children being left unattended for an extended period of time, according to an arrest report.

A deputy who arrived at the home found all the lights out except for inside a laundry room. There was no vehicle in the driveway. He knocked and rang the doorbell several times but no one answered.

A family friend arrived with a key and said she had permission to go in. She found the children, all under the age of 4, asleep.

Voice mails to Holstead from the deputy went unanswered, but she did respond to a text from the friend, according to the release.

When Holstead returned to the house, she initially said she had hired a babysitter, then admitted she had gone to a friend’s house in Shalimar and fallen asleep.

Holstead was booked into Okaloosa County Jail. It was not immediately clear from the release where the children were placed following Holst arrest. However, the OCSO has confirmed that DCF was present when Holstead was taken into custody.

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