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Child Found In Boca Raton Home Living In Deplorable Conditions

BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) - A South Florida mother has lost temporary custody of her 10-year-old son, after deputies say they found mounds of animal waste inside their home.

Robyn Zeff, 38, was arrested on November 8th and charged with child neglect after deputies were called to her West Boca Raton home.

Broward Circuit Court Judge Tim Bailey, on Friday afternoon, held an emergency hearing for the father of the child who wants custody of the boy.

"They did send me for a random drug and alcohol test and it came back negative," Zeff told the Judge. But deputies gave damaging accounts of what they found inside the home.

"As you entered the house, there was a horrible smell of dog urine and animal feces. I thought there was a dead body inside," said Sgt. Jim Slaughter.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy Tim Graham showed the judge explicit photos of mounds of waste.

"There were large spots of brown and yellow throughout the house.  There was garbage and fecal matter," he said.

The child's father told the judge he feared for his son's safety.

"She's drinking again. Using drugs. The fecal matter is disgusting," said the father.

When asked if she wanted to question the child's father, Zeff smiled and said, "I have nothing to ask."

Her father Allen Zeff testified that his daughter is a good mother.

Zeff said she's been under stress taking care of her mother who's had two heart attacks.

"I have hired a cleaning company. I'm a good mother, but I let things get out of control. I needed help and I didn't ask for it, "said Zeff.

The judge, however, disagreed.

"The court finds evidence the mom failed to provide a safe environment for this child," said Judge Bailey.  He ruled that the father would have temporary custody and Zeff would be allowed supervised visits twice a week.

Zeff said, outside of court, she intends to fight to regain full custody of her child.

"The judge did the right thing in having the child removed, this was a horrendous situation," said attorney Kim Mollica who represents the father.

Mollica said there will be a trial at a later time where the father will argue for full custody of the ten-year-old.

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