GULFPORT, Fla. — A mother of three young children faces felony child neglect charges after she allegedly left her children alone in squalid conditions on a mini-bus while she went out on a boat for the night, according to Gulfport Police.

  • Andrea L. Kerrins, 33, facing 3 counts of felony child neglect
  • Children temporarily taken by Florida Dept. of Children and Families
  • More Pinellas County stories

Gulfport Police said an officer on routine patrol spotted the mini-bus parked in a city parking lot along the beach just before 5 a.m. Saturday morning. On board the bus the officer found the children, ages 3, 6, and 9, among mounds of debris. 

The officer reported the children were left with mostly perishable food that had been left unrefrigerated, and a 5-gallon bucket being used as a makeshift toilet. The children also had no other clothing aside from what they were wearing. 

The children told the officer their mother, Andrea L. Kerrins, 33, had them there since 9 p.m. the previous evening to go out on a boat with a man. Marine Patrol officers found Kerrins smoking marijuana on one of the boats anchored offshore. 

Kerrins faces three counts of felony child neglect. The children have temporarily been taken in by the Florida Department of Children and Families.