May 24, 2010

Florida Couple Forces Daughter To Live Outside Like Animal So Their Home “Wouldn’t Get Dirty”

Miami, Florida (The Weekly Vice) - Florida couple Phillipe Mathieu, and Sherrine Mathieu, 42, were jailed on 863 counts of child neglect after they allegedly forced their daughter to live outside like an animal for eight years.

According to Miami police, the Mathieus reportedly purchased a four bedroom, two bath duplex in 2001.

Despite having a place to call home, the family allegedly slept in an old Pontiac Grand Am parked in the front yard, hidden by a tarp and other vehicles on the property. They would also eat, bathe with a hose, and even use the bathroom outside.

Mr. Mathieu, who is originally from Haiti, begged his wife to let them sleep inside the house, but Sherrine reportedly refused because she "wanted it to stay clean."

Police searched the home and found that one side of the duplex was dirty, but had a bed, and the other side was clean, with nice furniture and a large TV, but with no bed. The tubs on both sides were filthy and appeared to be unused. Investigators also found plastic bags that the family apparently used to defecate in, and then cleaned and reused them.

Investigators say the girl told police that the cleaner duplex was used as a cover-up whenever DCF visited the family. They would reportedly tell them that the girl slept in the one bed at the duplex.

The division of family services investigated the family on several occasions about their living conditions as well as reports of family violence, and had alerted police about the situation. A neighbor admitted to hearing the girl, who is now 16, begging to be let inside the home and crying when her mother cussed at her.

The Mathieus were booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail and charged with 863 counts of child neglect. They are being held on $431,500 bond and were ordered to stay away from their daughter.

Mandi Milenko
The Weekly Vice

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