Mother Arrested for Child Neglect
July 8,
On July
8, 2016 at approximately 3:40 pm the LCSO received a 911 call from motorist
Mitzi Lacoste. Ms. Lacoste was passing through the Gulf Hammock area of Levy
County approximately 3/4 of a mile north of the Gulf Hammock caution light when
she observed a young child approximately six feet off of the roadway. Ms.
Lacoste stopped and found the male child, approximately 2 ½ years old, was not
accompanied by any adult. Ms. Lacoste protected and calmed the child until
first responders arrived. The child was dressed in only a shirt.
Deputies, Investigators and the Levy County Department of Public Safety (LCDPS)
responded to the scene. Members of LCDPS calmed and treated the distraught
child in their ambulance as investigators worked to identify the child’s parent(s).
Investigators report LCDPS personnel went above and beyond, displaying their
care and compassion for the child.
Enforcement identified the mother of the child as Tana Francis Plank (7-7-90)
who lived approximately ¼ of a mile away through a wooded swampy area of Gulf
Hammock. In Ms. Plank’s initial statement to law enforcement officers, she said
she had just awakened from a nap to discover her child missing. She later
amended her story and told investigators she had recently used methamphetamines
and methadone and fallen asleep. Investigators also discovered during their investigation
that approximately three weeks prior the child wandered away from the home and
was found by a neighbor near a pond.
contacted the Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) who have
opened their own investigation. DCF has placed the child in protective custody
with a family member. Ms. Plank was arrested for Child Neglect and is being
held at the Levy County Detention Facility on a $45,000 bond. 
Lt. Scott Tummond
Public Information
Levy County Sheriff’s Office
(352) 486-5111
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