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Father accused of leaving young child alone at Key Largo campsite

Man had been drinking and crashed his SUV nearby, deputies say

Deputies said Francis Dunn, 46, of Jacksonville, left his young child alone at campsite in Key Largo.
Deputies said Francis Dunn, 46, of Jacksonville, left his young child alone at campsite in Key Largo.

KEY LARGO, Fla. – A Jacksonville man was arrested Saturday after campers found his young child wandering alone at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, authorities said.

Francis Dunn, 46, faces charges of child neglect and resisting arrest.

Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, said a couple alerted authorities after they found the toddler alone at a camp site. The child was covered in mosquito bites, wearing a soiled diaper and appeared not to have eaten in a while, Linhardt said.

By the time deputies arrived, Dunn had returned to the campsite.

The deputies said Dunn demanded to see their badges and refused to leave his tent with the child, Linhardt said. The deputies said Dunn smelled of alcohol and the campsite was in disarray. The deputies arrested Dunn after a brief struggle, Linhardt said.

Deputies later found Dunn's GMC Yukon Denali crashed on a road leading out of the park. The SUV was heavily damaged and parts of the vehicle were left in the roadway, Linhardt said.

The Florida Department of Children and Families assisted with the investigation, Linhardt said. DCF agents took the child into their care.