Keep New Times Free
| Columns |

World's Worst Babysitter Gets Wasted, Passes Out in Cold While Holding 2-Year-Old, Then Smiles for Mugshot

Candace Long just wanted to party. It was her birthday, after all. And she wasn't going to let her babysitting job -- or the frigid temperatures Florida had plunged into -- stop her. Indeed, even after her solitary party had ended, and she was in cuffs for child neglect, she was still ready to go, grinning from ear to ear.

Candace Long has just turned 28. And she might be the world's worst babysitter.

The Volusia County woman's troubles with minors began in 2005 when she was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, county court records show. (The disposition of that case wasn't clear.) In 2009, she was picked up again, this time for allegedly issuing a worthless check -- a charge that wasn't prosecuted.

Then things began to pick up steam, according to criminal records. In 2012, she was jailed for a night on charges of burglarizing an unoccupied building and criminal neglect. Last year, she vacuumed up a grab bag of additional charges -- battery, disorderly intoxication, battery of a law enforcement officer, trespassing, resisting arrest without violence, and disorderly intoxication (again).

With a rap sheet like this, there was really only one job she could snare without divulging her prolific past: babysitting. Last week -- just in time for her 28th birthday -- the mercury plunged to freezing, and Long picked up a job for the night. And while the father went to run errands, Long began to party.

Hours later, a neighbor named Tom Fordham ventured outside his Daytona Beach house to find a blond-haired, chubby-cheeked woman who had a nasty bruise swelling against her right eye. The woman was unconscious, and she was holding a 2-year-old child, who was shoeless and soaked in urine.

He called the cops: "The kid's not dressed for this weather," he told dispatchers.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

When police arrived, they roused Long, who could neither identify the boy, explain why her face was bruised, nor what had happened. All she said: It was her birthday. And it was time to party.

She was charged with neglect of a child and remains in Indian Lake Jail, where she's still smiling.

Send your story tips to author Terrence McCoy or follow him on twitter.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.