published: Friday, January 11, 2013
Second arrest made in child neglect case
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK — Following up on the Tuesday arrest of Sandra Michelle Jackson, 25, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office took Kyle Rupert, 22, into custody on the same charges: child neglect causing great harm, and three counts of child neglect without great harm.
A 911 call was received at about 1:20 a.m. July 7, 2012, requesting assistance for a child who was unresponsive.
Upon arrival the responders found a filthy, cockroach infested residence. There were four children in the home, ages 4, 3, 2 and 10 months. The infant was dead. There were no signs of trauma. Reports indicate all of the children were dirty, poorly clothed and malnourished. The baby appeared emaciated, according to deputies.
At the time of the 911 call Jackson was not home. She told investigators she’d gone to a friend’s house to watch a movie after work and had fallen asleep.
The last time she saw her infant son, she told investigators, was about 1 p.m. Friday when she left for work.
Rupert, allegedly Jackson’s boyfriend and the father of the dead baby, told police he was at the residence that night and morning.
According to his statement to law enforcement officials, Rupert put the baby in the playpen at about 9 p.m. Friday and played video games until he went to take the baby a bottle filled with applesauce and found him dead at about 1 a.m. Saturday.
Rupert told investigators there was no supervision of the children during the gaming sessions.
It is not clear who made the 911 call.
Both Jackson and Rupert are being held at the county jail.