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Couple and daughter slept in Car outside home for 8 years


For years, a Miami couple, Phillipe Mathieu, 62, and Sherrine Mathieu, 42, and their daughter have been sleeping, crammed together, in a small car parked in the front yard of their home, police say. They used a hose to bathe outside and plastic containers for waste.

On Friday, Miami police charged both parents with 863 counts of child neglect, and their 16 – year old daughter is in protective custody. Phillipe Mathieu told police that his wife cleaned compulsively and wouldn’t allow him or any family members inside their home on the 6300 block of Northwest First Court.

Police found jugs with dirty water, plastic bags, garbage and mildew inside the south unit of the duplex and the smell was horrible, while the north unit was much cleaner with nice furniture, electricity and running hot water. Through the open door, a large TV set, wall unit and flower arrangement could be seen. Miami Police spokesman, Delrish Moss, told reporters that investigators from the Special Victims Unit found a single twin bed there.

“The girl said that’s the part of the duplex they use in case the Department of Children and Families come looking, but the actual “bedroom” is a red Pontiac Grand Am shielded from view by a large tarp covering the chain-link fence on the property’s north side and a strategically parked Ford Windstar van in front . Several other cars on the property also obscured the Grand Am.

Phillipe Mathieu told investigators he allowed the situation because “he didn’t want to have problems with his wife.” The daughter, whom police would not name, said that “they’ve lived in these conditions since she was 8.” Moss said investigators found out about the Mathieu’s through DCF.

DCF spokesman Mark Riordan said Friday the agency had visited the home in November after allegations of family violence. The daughter will be evaluated and processed into the foster system.

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May 22, 2010 - Posted by | Eye on Justice | , , , , , , , , ,

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