Homeless parents ran holistic website as malnourished kids lived in car

Donell Barron and Rikki Hart (Photo Source: Palm Beach County Jail)
Donell Barron and Rikki Hart (Photo Source: Palm Beach County Jail)

The tragedy of being homeless with a family was revealed in a bizarre arrest in Florida. A police officer in an area known for drug dealing and the homeless approached a car in a Walmart parking lot. As the officer approached the vehicle, he noticed the smell of body odor and urine similar to a “homeless camp,” according to his report. Inside the parked vehicle, he found Donell Barron and Rikki Hart, both 34, and their five severely malnourished children.

The family had been living in the car for about two months after losing their home and staying in hotel rooms until they ran out of money. While parked at the Walmart Super Store in Greenacres, Florida, they bathed infrequently at a lake in a nearby park. The children’s age range is reported as 14, 8, 6, 5 and 4. The 14-year-old weighed only 50 pounds and was so thin his bones were clearly visible. In addition, the 8-year-old was suffering from high blood pressure and was also malnourished. The children only ate once a day with a meal that consisted of salad and bread. They had not been enrolled in school for an extended period and were homeschooled by their parents in the vehicle. It is reported that the children had not seen a doctor in several years.

Barron and Hart reportedly run a blog website titled “Holistically Beautiful for ‘those interested in a holistic and balanced lifestyle.” The website states, “This blog was created by Donell and Rikki Barron in 2014 to show the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle and discuss topics which can enrich ones’ life. Donell has his Master’s Degree in Rehab Science/Substance Abuse and is a Writer, Holistic Living Consultant, Personal Trainer, and Motivational Speaker. His wife, Rikki, has her Bachelor’s is Speech Communication and has a background in Banking, Dance Therapy, Childbirth Preparation and is also an Holistic Living Consultant. They believe in the importance of living a balanced life and the importance of constantly improving oneself. They currently reside in FL and they have been coaching others to live balanced lives for 10 years.”

At the time of his arrest, Barron stated to police that he was Native American and “is not property of the US or any corporation.” In addition, he stated that he practices law but is not a lawyer. The children are now in state custody and the parents face five counts of criminal child neglect. They are being held in Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $1K bail.

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