FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Okaloosa County deputies found an 8-year-old girl within reach of various drug paraphernalia and surrounded by cockroaches at a Fort Walton Beach home.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said Paul and Rachel Griner are charged with child neglect after a traffic stop Monday morning on Beal Parkway.
OCSO said the Griner’s black Hyundai Sonata pulled onto Beal Parkway around 6 a.m. causing a deputy to swerve out of the way. The deputy said there was a visible physical struggle inside the car at the time.
The deputy pulled the car over, and Rachel was identified as the driver but had moved to the passenger seat. Both Paul and Rachel refused to get out of the car, had to be separated and were taken into custody.
OCSO said a clear bag with drugs fell from Paul’s shorts and tested positive for meth. According to the arrest report, Rachel told the deputy “I need to get back to my kid” during the investigation. An address was provided and OCSO conducted a welfare check.
Deputies at the home on Landview Drive located the 8-year-old sleeping. The girl told OCSO she did not know Rachel and Paul had left the home and had not seen them since Sunday night.
OCSO said the house was filled with cockroaches and trash. Drug paraphernalia was scattered around in reach of the girl.
Rachel is charged with child neglect and resisting an officer. She told OCSO she was out overnight trying to find her husband and located him on the side of the road.
Paul is facing child neglect, resisting an officer, drugs and sex offender violation charges for failing to report an email address.
OCSO can not confirm the relationship between the couple and the child due to state law. DCF has been contacted in the case.
WKRG News 5 has reached out to learn the current status of the child. Both Paul and Rachel remain in Okaloosa County Jail.