Patricio G. Balona
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
An Astor woman is facing charges after abandoning her baby at a Deltona home, Volusia County sheriff’s deputies said.
Melissa Kelley, 33, ran from the Deltona home late Sunday night and was later arrested by Lake County sheriff’s deputies, authorities said.
Kelley was a stranger to the woman she left the baby with, but did have a surprise connection to Patricia Tillman and her family.
Kelley was being held Tuesday in the Lake County Jail on $2,000 bail, subject to Volusia County charges of unlawful desertion of a child and child neglect, records show.
Volusia County sheriff’s investigators said that Sunday at 10:19 p.m., Kelley rang the doorbell several times at Tillman’s home on Sedgefield Avenue in Deltona.
When Tillman opened the door, Kelley put the 3-month-old boy in a car seat at Tillman’s feet, telling her she could no longer care for the baby.
Kelley told Tillman the child’s father would pick him up, investigating deputies said. Kelley also told Tillman not to touch the baby because the infant had scabies, a report states. Kelly then ran away, deputies said.
Tillman did not return a call or respond to a text message sent to her Tuesday morning. After speaking with family members, however, Tillman learned that the baby’s father was the boyfriend of Tillman’s daughter, investigators said.
Tillman told deputies the baby had a soiled diaper and was left with half of a can of powdered baby formula, an empty baby bottle, and two soiled towels, a report details.
Tillman then called her daughter’s boyfriend, Clayton Zinck, 28, but could not reach him. Zinck’s parents said they would not pick up the child and said they would not wake a sleeping Zinck, deputies said.
Zinck could not be reached Tuesday morning,
In text messages she sent family members, Kelley wrote “please don’t make me throw this baby in the trash,” and that she was going to use “drugs” in an attempt to commit suicide because Zinck did not want to continue being in a relationship with her, Volusia County sheriff’s investigators said.
Because of the suicidal statements, Volusia County deputies pinged Kelley’s phone. With the help of Lake County sheriff’s deputies, they located her at Lightfoot Road and State Road 40, a wooded area in Astor, a report shows.
The Department of Children and Families took custody of the infant and took him to a hospital to be treated for a possible scabies infection, investigators said. Scabies is an infestation of the skin by human itch mites.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Deltona homeowner learns surprising truth after woman abandons baby boy on her doorstep
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