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Florida courthouse janitor, 72, who is diabetic, accidentally locked in cell over weekend: ‘I prayed to God’

A janitor who was accidentally trapped inside a courthouse cell for three nights last weekend said she held onto her faith to get her through her ordeal.

Libia Vargas De Dinas said she held tight to her faith for the three nights she spent inside a holding cell after the door closed behind her on Friday, Jan. 27. 

The 72-year-old janitor was cleaning an inmate holding cell at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Florida, Friday night when "the door shut behind her and she was unable to open it," police said, according to WESH-TV.

Vargas De Dinas told the station by phone from her hospital bed that she knew no one would go up to the 23rd floor until Monday morning, describing that realization and the fact that her key card and cell phone were out of reach as "total despair." 

"I prayed to God that he would take care of my health, body, mind, soul and spirit," Vargas De Dinas told the station in Spanish. 


While she didn’t have food for those three nights, she was able to drink from a faucet above the cell’s toilet. Complicating her problem was her diabetes and the fact that she couldn’t take any insulin. 

"My God, I know you are here with me," she told the station. 

Vargas De Dinas was finally found on Monday morning at taken to a hospital. 

"Upon hearing of the plight of the janitorial employee, Orange County has mandated that the security company walk every space within the janitorial footprint," the Orange County Government said, adding that the automatic door locking mechanism has been removed, according to WESH. 

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