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​​Janitor Cleaning Inmate's Cell Gets Locked Inside for 3 Days Without Food

She survived with only water.

An elderly janitor was accidentally locked into a prison overnight and survived for three days with no food or medicine. There were no security guards there over the weekend, and no one knew she was missing, Fox 35 Orlando reports. It wasn't until Monday morning that people realized she had been trapped inside alone for days, with no one around to help her. Here's how she got locked in and how she got through the weekend without provisions

Trapped Alone In a Cell


Libia Vargas De Dinas, 72, was doing her usual job at the Orlando County Courthouse late on Friday when the place locked up for the weekend. Deputies didn't realize she was still in the building and left her there. The cleaner had no way of asking anyone for help or alerting other employees that she was still inside when the building closed.

Dinas had been working in a holding cell on the 23rd floor when she found herself locked in. She did have a cell phone with her, but it was on the cart, which was outside of the cell. No one could hear her knocking for help. 

No Security In the Building


Records show there should have been security in the courthouse on Saturday and Sunday, but there was reportedly no security on the weekend in question (the security company says there was, but they didn't have access to all areas). Dinas had no food with her, and no medicine—she was supposed to take insulin. There was water from a faucet in the cell, but that was it.

Dinas was finally discovered on Monday morning when deputies spotted the cleaning cart outside the holding room. She was taken to hospital, and says she survived without food or medicine thanks to her faith. "My God, I know you are here with me," she says she told herself. "I prayed to God that he would take care of my health, body, mind, soul and spirit," Dinas said. "It was the weekend. No one would go up to the top floor. The 23rd floor."

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New Rules Moving Forward


The Orange County Government says there are no cameras in their holding cells. Moving forward, they are changing the rules.  "Upon hearing of the plight of the janitorial employee, Orange County has mandated that the security company walk every space within the janitorial footprint," they said in a statement.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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