David Dexter and Christan Wilson are both charged with felony child abuse after police in DeLand, Florida, said they kept their toddler daughter in a hot, roach-infested vehicle and injected themselves with drugs in front of her.
The couple was arrested on June 25 and booked into the Volusia County Jail. The child had scabs on her legs, an open wound on her neck and was surrounded by filth. First responders with the DeLand Fire Department checked out the child and said she was healthy. She was turned over to another family member.
Public court records from Volusia County show that Dexter and Wilson are known to law enforcement. They have both been arrested on multiple past occasions.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Police Approached the Vehicle to Ask If Dexter & Wilson Needed Help After Noticing the Car Was Turned Off Despite the Intense Heat of the Day
The city of DeLand is located about 30 miles north of Orlando in Volusia County. Temperatures reached into the triple digits on the day that David Dexter and Christan Wilson were arrested.
The Deland Police Department shared in a news release that an officer noticed the couple sitting in their vehicle at a park near South Stone Street and West Highland Avenue. He also saw the young child in the car.
The officer said that the temperature gauge in his cruiser read 104 degrees. That’s why he found it odd that Dexter and Wilson’s car was not turned on. After 10 minutes, the officer approached to ask if the couple needed help. He later wrote in his report that Dexter “made movements as if he were attempting to conceal something.” The officer said the couple had “drug paraphernalia in plain view.”
2. The Toddler Was Surrounded By Insects & Spoiled Food
The little girl was walking around the inside of the vehicle without shoes and wearing only a diaper and a shirt. DeLand Police say the child’s diaper was dirty at the time of her parents’ arrest.
The vehicle was infested with various types of insects, including cockroaches. The roaches “were climbing across the seat near the child,” according to police. Pictures taken at the scene show that the vehicle contained garbage, old food containers, and various personal items including toys, dirty clothing, bedding and what looks to be a stroller in the trunk area.
Police said the child had scabs on her legs and an open wound on her neck. David Dexter told police that his daughter got the mark on her neck when she accidentally walked into someone’s lit cigarette while they were out.
The little girl was examined by a medical team at the scene and it was determined that she was ok. She was turned over to another relative. Police did not say who is caring for the child other than to say that the person was identified as a “responsible family member.”
3. Dexter Admitted to Purchasing Illegal Drugs With His Daughter in the Car & Said Wilson Had Injected Herself In Front of the Child
Officers with the DeLand Police Department discovered evidence that David Dexter and Christan Wilson had been using drugs in front of their daughter in the vehicle. Police found several needles and “other paraphernalia used to prepare narcotics for injection” in the vehicle and Wilson’s purse.
At least one of the syringes was found to be fully loaded with opioids. CBS affiliate WKMG-TV reported that the syringe was resting beside the driver’s seat, where the little girl “could have easily stepped on it,” citing police.
Dexter admitted to buying the drugs illegally, and that his daughter had been with them in the vehicle during the purchase. He also told officers that Wilson had injected herself.
Both face charges including felony child abuse, possession of a schedule II substance and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. They were booked into the Volusia County Jail and held on $5,500 bond.
4. David Dexter & Christan Wilson Both Have Lengthy Arrest Records
David Lynn Dexter and Christan Wilson are known to law enforcement in the DeLand, Florida area. A search of public court records in Volusia County show that both of them have been arrested multiple times.
Dexter’s most recent arrest prior to the June 25 incident was on December 30, 2017. He was charged with felony cocaine possesion and misdemeanor charges of marijuana possesion, possesion of drug paraphernialia and carrying a concealed weapon. Dexter served 83 days behind bars and appears to have reached a plea deal in that case.
Christan Nicole Wilson appears to have been arrested 6 times in 2018. The listed cases include trespassing, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting an officer without violence.
5. David Dexter & Christan Wilson Wrote on Facebook That They Got Married in 2018
The DeLand Police Department did not identify David Dexter and Christan Wilson as a married couple, but that is how they describe their relationship on Facebook. Wilson wrote that they got married in June of 2018 and that they live in the DeLand area.
A woman named Jessica Sellers wrote on Wilson’s page about 5 weeks before the June 25 arrest. She says she attended school with Wilson and was concerned for the safety of her daughter. Sellers wrote, “STOP USING YOUR CHILD AS A PLOY TO GET DRUG MONEY FROM STRANGERS!!! you are seen constantly begging for money for a ‘hotel room’, but everyone in town knows it’s bullsh*t and your a drug addict. The fact you take your child out in the heat and use your child to gain sympathy is so f*cking heartless. You are a horrible mother and a horrible human being.” Wilson never responded and did not remove the comment.