Child found unconscious with head in Florida hotel toilet leads to couple’s arrest

Larry Rhodes, 22 (Osceola County Sheriff's Office)

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – A child is on life support after being found unconscious with their head in the toilet at a Kissimmee hotel, according to reports released by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Local 10 News partner WKMG in Orlando reports that Larry Rhodes, 22, was arrested last week and faces charges of child neglect, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies said they responded to a Knights Inn in Kissimmee on July 5 after reports came in about a drowning, with call notes indicating someone’s head was in a toilet.

Reports show eight people were found in the room: Rhodes, his girlfriend Bianca Blaise, 25; and six children ranging from 6 years old to a baby less than 1-year-old.

According to the reports, one of the six children did not have a pulse and was not breathing, so CPR was administered. Records show the child was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital with a life-threatening brain bleed and was on life support.

Deputies added that another child had visible injuries, swollen eyes and blood in their mouth. In addition, deputies said another child had multiple injuries and bruises on their face.

Deputies said Rhodes and Blaise claimed there was “a physical altercation between siblings” in the hotel room.

Other children in the room suffered multiple bruises, and one had hemorrhaging to his left eyeball, investigators said.

The sheriff’s office reported all children involved were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Records show deputies spoke with people in the room next door, who said they had heard a “thud” from the room approximately 5-15 minutes before deputies arrived, which they believed was a child falling.

A search of the room revealed several swabs of suspected blood and two guns with multiple magazines, deputies said.

In a later interview, Blaise described to investigators how she and Rhodes disciplined the children, including “whoopings” being made to stand in the corner and having them perform exercises, records show.

Deputies said Blaise told them she returned to the hotel room on July 5, she found one of the children with their head in the toilet bowl, though she said it looked as though they were drinking water from the bowl. Blaise told them it wasn’t until Rhodes went into the bathroom that the man told her to call 911, according to investigators.

Rhodes and Blaise both face charges for six counts of child neglect with great bodily harm with total bail set at $15,000 each. Blaise has since bonded out of jail following her arrest.


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