Couple arrested after child left malnourished, “covered with lice”

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. –  A Lee County mother and father are facing child neglect charges, accused of neglecting their 15-month-old daughter so badly she nearly died.

Deputies arrested Nicole Bement, 23, and Joseph Rios, 23, of Lehigh Acres Wednesday after receiving disturbing information from doctors.

According to an arrest report, Bement brought her daughter to Lehigh Regional Medical Center October 31 because the infant wasn’t eating. According to doctors, the girl was dehydrated, malnourished to the point that her ribs were showing, and she was covered in lice.

The report reveals the couple has three other children, including a 5-month-old boy whose weight equals that of a two-month-old.

WINK News has also confirmed the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has already investigated the family twice this year, once in February for lack of supervision and again in October for an unsafe household. The children have been removed from the home and are in DCF custody.