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By STEPHEN THOMPSON
The Tampa Tribune
Melissa Samorja (Police Photo)
ST. PETERSBURG - Police on Wednesday arrested a mother and her boyfriend, accusing them of starving a nine year-old girl, forcing her to wear a diaper, and locking her in her bedroom.
Then, in a bizarre twist, they discovered the boyfriend is actually a woman.
Melissa Samorja, 32, and Raymond La Fountain, 35, were charged with aggravated child abuse. Specifically, they unlawfully and intentionally caused great bodily harm to a child under 12, St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt said in a press release.
Raymond Blake LaFountain (Police Photo)
Detective Joe Deluca said the couple punished the girl by locking her in her bedroom, tying her hands behind her back, forcing her to wear a diaper, and denying her food.
Police took the girl into protective custody about a month ago, when a relative called, concerned about her safety. When detectives talked to the girl, she was emaciated, Proffitt said. She had dropped from a normal weight of 67 pounds to 42 pounds, he said.
After a month with her grandparents, the girl’s health has improved, and she has gained 20 pounds.
The discovery of La Fountain’s true gender happened after officers booked “him” into jail and performed a strip search. La Fountain is now being housed with female inmates.
Samara Sodos of WFLA and Chris Chmura of TBO.com contributed to this report.
Just give me a bat and 5 mins with mother and boyfriend; i will make them learn good lesson.
I hope this girl gets over with this soon and focus on her future…
I say, HANG THEM BOTH and then feed them to gators.
HEY DAVE Y GET IN THE REAL WORLD. I KNOW YOU MEAN WELL BUT GET WITH THE REAL WORLD. GOD WILL HAVE HIS DAY FOR THEM. THE COURTS DON,T HAVE TIME.
Fellow citizens, it is quite understandable the frustration actions by sick individuals like this bring to our minds. However, advocating torture and agony is not a solution. Saying so puts you on the same exact level as them.
Fortunately it seems gauranteed that the mother will never have custody of this child again. I am sure the girls grandparents will do well in raising this child.
It would be prudent to note that this article does not state anythin about the father, nor whhether the grandparents are on the mother or father’s side.
May God have mercy and forgive all parties victimized or at fault.
I was born in Tampa, this is why I moved my family, out. I have 7 grandchildren. I can,t think of anyone doing this to a child. But the court will make a deal with them and give thim lighter term. It is not fair for the little girl to go through this for life.Like Ginny said if this was a dog or cat it would be life. JUST FRIY EM.
Today I was talking to a guy from NY. We both agree that most ill mannered people travel to Florida and become residents. Because the laws are too soft. Many things need to change about this state, or else we will be visiting our childrens grave! If only I could be the president of the U.S or gov. of FL
Let’s do more than talk, and pray!
Pat, I think it is something in the water put there by the large fertilizer plant near Ruskin, near where all the illegals live.
Is it just me or does every person who is going to abuse a child live in or move to Florida. Maybe its something in the water.
PLEASE for God’s sake .....make those who are in charge of persecuting these people who commit such crimes against children…....not allow the criminals to plead out or continuences for ever
so that the orginal charges no longer apply
this is precisly what is going on about the persons who did this to their own grandkids near my auntie’s home.
they are not yet in court…and they beat the children and starved them too!!
I can’t quit crying.
When will this horrific abuse of our children stop.
This might not have happened if school was in session. However, a lot of parents will do this and claim they home school their child. I beg all people reading this, if you notice a neighbor that has children and those children has disappeared suddendly; PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHORITIES! A health and welfare check only takes a few moments and could mean life or death of a child and/or children!
Notice it is 90% always a “live in boyfriend”. Sad. I hope this girl recovers and is able to lead some kind of life.
Give me just 5 minutes alone with them both. Justice will be served.
There is a special place in Hell for people who do things like this to young children and animals, who cannot defend themselves and require the care and protection of others.
Rot. I hope your soul rots while you are on this earth. There is no excuse, no justification, no reason. Just rot.
Pray for the little and a girl ...
Hopefully a judge will set a very high bond so neither of these pieces of garbage will get out of jail. And, hopefully, some state attorney will not pead this case to a short jail term for these individuals. This has to be one of the saddest stories to air in a long time. This child will never recover from this abuse and neither should the two who put her in this situation.
God Bless the child and God Bless whoever reported this to the authorities. I pray she will have a much better life from here on.
Shame on these parents, and shame on anyone who may have known about the situation (possibly friends or drug dealers). I don’t know how many times I have spoken with adults, who suspected abuse of their freind’s kids, or neighbor’s kids, and did nothing. They claim that either they think the child is lying, or they don’t want to get involved. I will say this loud and clear, IF YOU EVER SUSPECT NEGLECT OR ABUSE, REPORT IT. This is so sad.
Now it’s their turn. Tie up those two scum and starve them. The justice system is just not large enough for the amount of demonic dregs walking around, harming God’s children. I am so sick of all these atrocities occurring day after day after day…If this girl needs a good home, I’ll adopt her.
LOSER’S THATS ALL I CAN SAY,THEY SHOULD DO THE SAME THING TO THE 2 CREEPS INSTEAD OF THEM WASTING THERE MONEY ON DRUGS.THEY DONT DESERVE TO HAVE A CHILD!!!!!
BRING HER BEHIND THE WOOD SHED AND HAVE SOME ONE WOOP HER BUTT.
If they need someone to take her in please contact me. This is aweful -
What a horrific story. How can a mother do this to a child? She must have no feelings, no conscience, just any empty shell of a human being. Thank God someone found that little girl. I pray that someone will take her and show her love. As for the mother and boyfriend - they too are in need of prayer. They are sick individuals that obviously haven’t been taught to care or to love. Had sad that people like them have offspring, when there are loving people that are unable to concieve.
She is totally a piece of SCUM! Put her in a cell tie her hands behind her back put her in a diaper and don’t give her any food and if she has to go to the bathroom let her go in the diaper and maybe then she will know what it felt like to that child. What a horrible thing to do. This state is getting rediculous with people starving animals and now the precious little children. Put her away and including the other SCUM she lived with. Never letting them out of prison and don’t forget to sterilize them so that they never reproduce again!
She is probably on drugs (if you look at the mugshot) and that is the real problem. She can’t afford food and drugs, so the child is discarded, not the drugs. Although I think this is a really ugly crime and her child should be taken away from her, she needs help. The boyfriend probably got her hooked on drugs and dragged her down with him.