VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Deltona woman is facing several charges after deputies say she abandoned her 3-month-old baby on the doorstep of a home.
Melissa Kelley is charged with unlawful desertion and child neglect.
Volusia County deputies responded to a home on Sedgfield Avenue and spoke with a woman named Patricia who says Kelley placed the infant at her feet and said she could no longer care for the child. Kelley reportedly told Patricia that the child’s father would come and pick the baby up. Patricia says she had never met Kelley before that day.
Patricia called 911. These are statements she made during the call.
911 CALLER: “She just pushed the baby in the door and walked away.”
911 CALLER: “I don’t know her name. I have no idea who she is.”
911 CALLER: “She said your daughter is dating his daddy.”
911 CALLER: “And she came up and just left her baby. I said, ‘You’re leaving your baby with me?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘So, you’re abandoning your baby?’”
“Melissa advised Patricia to not touch due to the infant being infected with scabies,” a report from the sheriff’s office stated. “Melissa then fled the area. Patricia informed Deputy Campbell the infant was abandoned with a soiled diaper, a half can of powdered baby formula, an empty baby bottle and two soiled baby towels.”
After speaking with family and friends, deputies say that Patricia discovered the baby was the child of her daughter’s boyfriend, Clayton Zinck.
Deputies spoke with family members on scene who showed text messages from Kelley stating, “Please don’t make me throw this baby in the trash.” She also reportedly sent text messages stating that she was going to use “drugs” in an attempt to commit suicide due to the baby’s father not wanting to continue a relationship with her.
Kelley was taken to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Jail. Because authorities could not make contact with the baby’s father, the Florida Department of Children and Families was called to care for the child. The baby was taken to the hospital for treatment.