Washington Parish couple accused of mistreating children, selling food stamp benefits

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WASHINGTON PARISH (WGNO) – A Washington Parish couple has been arrested for severe mistreatment of their children.

According to the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jessie R. Hoyt, 28, and Kayla Hoyt, 26, are accused of locking their four children in a bedroom for extended periods of time so the couple could sleep during the day.

The children were also underfed, unbathed, and filthy.

Deputies notified Department of Children and Family Services personnel who responded to the scene, documented the living conditions, talked with the children, and removed the children from the home. Based on the totality of evidence, the couple was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail.

“It is almost beyond belief that any couple would abuse their children in such a manner,” Sheriff Randy Seal said. “I am so grateful that this horrible situation was brought to our attention and that our deputies were able to intervene on behalf of these innocent children. The treatment of these children is grossly unjust and my heart and prayers go out to them. I am grateful to the Department of Children and Family Services for working with us to remove the children from this horrible family situation.”

Investigators also suspect the parents were selling the children’s food stamps for money.

“If we can prove they were selling their food stamp benefits for cash, we will arrest them for that also,” Seal said. “It is a crime to sell food stamp benefits and if we learn of anyone who is selling or buying those benefits, we will put them in jail.”