APOPKA, Fla. - An Orange County teacher was charged with elderly neglect Sunday after police found her mother living in filth.
Rhonda Miller, 39, is an exceptional education teacher at Apopka High School.
According to the arrest report, Miller rented a room at the Crosby Motor Inn in Apopka and left her 85-year-old mother there alone with no care, little food and more than a dozen cats.
The hotel owner, John Crosby, said he rarely saw Miller, but her mother had lived there for about a month.
"From my understanding, since this started, she had been adopting the cats from Petco and places like that for the last three, four weeks and bringing them here," he said.
The owner of the hotel called police after he noticed an odor coming from the room. Police said the hotel room was filthy and covered in cat urine and feces, as well as human feces.
The smell was so bad, that investigators said they could not enter the room.
The mother was frail and disoriented. Officials said she suffered signs of dementia.
"If it was Rhonda and not her mother, she would have been out weeks ago, but we were concerned more with the mother because she had dementia," Crosby said.
The 85-year-old woman was being treated at the hospital and is in good condition. Crosby has decided to care for the cats, and said he is trying to find them all good homes.
Miller went before a judge on Sunday and found to be in violation of her probation for a previous conviction for check fraud.