Collier couple accused of child abuse, neglect

Heather Smith, left, and John Bedford, right. Photo via the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

COPELAND, Fla. A couple has been accused of abusing and neglecting two small children, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said.

Heather Smith, 23, and John Bedford, 21, both of Copeland, were arrested Wednesday after deputies found the children suffering from multiple flea bites. One of them was covered in bruises as well, according to the sheriff’s department. There was also no evidence of formula or baby food in the home.

The Department of Children and Families had notified deputies after the department conducted a welfare check on the home based on an anonymous complaint regarding the home’s “filthy conditions,” deputies said.

“That’s sad, there’s a lot of people around here who don’t deserve kids,” said a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s sad a lot of stuff like that goes around.”

The DCF removed the children from the home and placed them with a person deemed safe by the sheriff’s office.

It’s unclear whether Bedford and Smith are the biological parents.

Bedford is facing a charge of child abuse with a $50,000 bond. Smith bonded out on pretrial release and is facing a child neglect charge.

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