Woman arrested in child abuse or animal neglect case

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) – A woman has been arrested in connection with an investigation into child abuse and animal neglect in Bedford County.

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Social Services were called on September 15, 2022 to Jeters Chapel Road regarding an 18-year-old student with autism who was not attending school. Deputies found the house “very overgrown”, with barking dogs coming from inside the house, as well as “extreme smells”. Investigators have determined that Colleen Lagines, 38, left two children at home. The children, including the 18-year-old, were taken to safety by social services.

Animal Control responded and found “very emaciated” and dead animals, according to the sheriff’s office. The animals were taken to Riverside Veterinary Clinic for evaluation and care.

Lagines was arrested on September 16 and charged with four counts of child abuse and neglect, with other possible charges as the investigation continues.

Abused animals found at Bedford County home(Bedford County Sheriff‘s Office)
Abused animals found at Bedford County home
Abused animals found at Bedford County home(Bedford County Sheriff’s Office)

Sheriff Mike Miller said: ‘This is just the beginning for these rescued animals, and they will need additional care and treatment. He said anyone wishing to help is invited to do so through Friends of Bedford County Animal Shelter, a non-profit organization that will accept donations “which would be put to good use in helping these animals”.

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Jennifer R. Strohm