Acting on a complaint from a concerned citizen, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies went to a rural residence on the west side of the parish to check on the welfare of young children who lived at that address. Upon arriving at the residence, deputies observed a house which was in disarray, food items scattered throughout the kitchen and dirty clothes on the floor throughout the house, even partially blocking access to the bathroom and toilet.
After investigating the entire matter, it was determined that the children were not being bathed or fed regularly and were locked in a bedroom during the day so that the parents could sleep undisturbed. Additionally, it is suspected that the couple was selling their food stamp benefits for cash.
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.
Jessie R. Hoyt, 28, and Kayla Hoyt, 26, were each booked into the Washington Parish Jail on four counts of cruelty to juveniles. In addition, Kayla Hoyt is charged with resisting arrest by flight from an officer. When deputies announced to Kayla Hoyt that she was under arrest, she attempted to flee on foot but was quickly apprehended by officers. Jessie Hoyt’s bond is set at $10,000. Kayla Hoyt’s bond is set at $11,000.
Sheriff Randy Seal expressed dismay at the treatment of the children. “It is almost beyond belief that any couple would abuse their children in such a manner. 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.”
Sheriff Seal commented further on the allegation that the couple was selling their food stamp benefits for cash. “If we can prove they were selling their food stamp benefits for cash, we will arrest them for that also. 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.”