Florida couple arrested for abandoning 3 children in the woods

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email
Michael and Sarah Butcher, both 30, were first arrested Friday after illegally parking their red truck in a private RV park in Punta Gorda.

Michael Scott Butcher, left, and Sarah Christina Butcher were arrested March 1, 2014 for loitering, meth possession, and abandoning their three kids in the woods. (Charlotte County Sheriffs Office)

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Punta Gorda, Fla. (ABC) -- A Florida couple was arrested for allegedly abandoning their three young children in the woods, authorities said.

Michael and Sarah Butcher, both 30, were first arrested Friday after illegally parking their red truck in a private RV park in Punta Gorda.

Cops later found crystal meth in their car's glove compartment, along with a syringe and a burnt spoon, according to the arrest report.

After the pair was taken to jail –- where they repeatedly claimed to be brother and sister –- the police received a call that three children were found walking in the woods, “very dirty, hungry, and cold,” according to a police report.

They told police their parents were named Michael and Sarah.

The children -– ages 10, 8, and 6 –- had walked nearly two miles before they were found, police said.

They said their parents had driven them to a wooded area where they often went camping. While they played in the woods, their parents drove off in their truck, leaving only Michael’s shoes, police said.

The children were sent to Florida’s Department of Children and Families, authorities said.

Following the couple's arrest, police officers also found a baggie of crystal meth in the father's pocket, authorities said.

The couple has been held without bond.

Debbie Bowe, a spokesman for the Charlotte County Sherriff’s office, would not say whether the couple confessed to abandoning their children.


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