Elderly Janitor With Diabetes Was Accidentally Trapped In Florida Holding Cell For Three Days

A janitor in Orange County spent three nights without food after she was accidentally locked inside of an inmate holding cell at a Florida courthouse, Action News 5 reported.

At around 9:30 P.M., Libia Vargas De Dinas was cleaning an inmate holding cell at the Orange County Courthouse, when the door unexpectedly shut behind her. Just outside the holding cell was her janitorial cart, that held her cleaning supplies and her cell phone. The 72-year-old refers to the incident as “a moment of total despair.”

Vargas De Dinas remained trapped in the cell for three nights. She slept on a bench and drank water from a faucet, until she was found early Monday morning. In addition to the lack of food, Vargas De Dinas was in incredible danger due to having diabetes. According to the NBC affiliate, she hadn’t taken any insulin since before her shift started. She believes her faith kept her alive.

“It was the weekend. No one would go up to the top floor, the 23rd floor,” she said. “I prayed to God that he would take care of my health, body, mind, soul, and spirit.”

Libia Vargas De Dinas is now recovering in a hospital, and is expected to make a full recovery. “Upon hearing of the plight of the janitorial employee, Orange County has mandated that the security company walk every space within the janitorial footprint,” a government statement read. Since the incident, Orange County has also removed the automatic door closer to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Our biggest stories, straight to your box.

Sign up now to get our essential daily briefs on politics' Environment, Royals and more.

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookies Statement


Editors Picks