Neighbors Reported Parents of 3-year-old girl Found Dead in Woods

CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — Neighbors of 3-year-old Adelynn Merrell say they had concerns about the toddler’s home life months before her death.

According to an incident report from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, the older brother, about 4-years-old, showed up at a neighbor’s home. The neighbor walked the child back to his home and heard a female child inside the home screaming.

The report says the neighbor then removed the second child from the home and called the sheriff’s office.

Zuzeth Martinez lives right across the street. She says she remembers the incident.

“I do remember the two children,” Martinez said. “I only remember the boy, but after the incident you only saw the husband and that was it.”

Deputies say when they arrived that day, they found the brother’s door was locked and he crawled out of the window. The report says the children’s mother, Destinee Merrell, says she took the baby out for a ride for five to ten minutes because he was teething.

Deputies say they turned the investigation over to the Department of Children and Family Services.

Martinez says she thought the children had been taken away for good.

“I really do feel like something went wrong,” Martinez said. “Someone didn’t read their body language right. Or something fell through the cracks.

Officials with DCFS say they will continue to work with law enforcement agencies on this case.

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