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CPS awarded temporary custody of Bedford baby left in car

FORT WORTH -- A judge has given Child Protective Services temporary custody of a baby who Bedford police say was left unattended in a car for four hours Monday after his mother told police that she fell asleep, a CPS official said Wednesday.

The 5-month-old boy was in foster care Wednesday morning, said CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

The ruling came Tuesday afternoon during a hearing in Fort Worth.

The judge also ordered the family to allow CPS officials to interview the mother’s 2-year-old daughter who was inside the home on Monday when police found her brother in the car.

Vanna Smith, 23, was investigated on allegations of neglect and sexual abuse of her daughter in 2008, according to Child Protective Services records.

CPS officials were unable to complete the investigation on Vanna Smith because the family refused to cooperate, Gonzales said.

CPS was not able to obtain a court order in 2008 to force the family to participate, Gonzales said.

Bedford police arrested Smith Monday morning after a Bedford patrol officer found the baby in a car that was parked on a Bedford city street.

The officer got the infant out of the car and placed the child in an air-conditioned patrol car after responding to a report that a baby was alone in a vehicle in the 2000 block of Natchez Drive in Bedford, Bedford police have said.

The baby first was taken to Texas Health Hurst-Euless-Bedford hospital in Bedford and then to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. The infant was later released, CPS officials said.

Smith was in the Bedford Jail Wednesday in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Smith told police that she had arrived home about 4:30 a.m. Monday, went into the house and fell asleep.

The officer discovered the baby about 8:30 a.m. Monday, strapped in an infant seat in the unlocked car with a rear-door slightly ajar and the window down just a little, police said.

There were cloudy skies at the time and temperatures were in the mid-80s, according to police reports.

The baby’s father apparently does not live in Bedford with the family, the police reports state.

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