Collier County nurse alerts deputies to child abuse, prevents decapitation
A nurse at Palmetto Elementary in Collier County tipped off deputies to an awful child abuse case.
While there are more than 3,000 reports of child abuse cases each year, according to Children’s Advocacy Center, it still shocks residents when these crimes happen against children living in Southwest Florida.
Christina Breen said she can’t begin to imagine what kind of person. “As a mom it hits home the worst,” Breen said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Collier County deputies said Ordene Christie is the kind of person who would harm a child. Christie, 50, is accused of beating three kids under her care with a belt, stick and machete after they attempted to obtain food from the kitchen.
She even threatened to “chop off their hands and head.”
Her arrest report said the children tried to procure the food because they are never full. All three children, who are ages 7, 8 and 9, are underweight. The youngest weighs 41 pounds.
“I can’t even think about that,” Monica Thonday said, a neighbor. “I don’t know, I have no idea — that’s insane.
A nurse at Palmetto Elementary ultimately save their lives. She noticed the bruising and proceeded to report it to deputies.
“It is comforting knowing people are looking out for children,” Breen said, “and are watching out for these things.”
The district policy states employees are required to report student abuse or neglect if they suspect — just like the nurse did. All staff members are required to train with the Department of Children and Family Services on identifying abuse.
“You don’t know what someone’s mindset is,” Thonday said. “You don’t know what they’re going to do to your kids. You can’t trust everybody.”
If you know of or suspect child abuse, call the Florida Abuse Hotline. It can be reached at 1-800-96 ABUSE (800-962-2873). The agency is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Caller information is kept confidential.