Judge gives CPS temporary custody of baby left in car in Bedford

A judge has given Child Protective Services temporary custody of a 5-month-old boy found about 8:30 a.m. Monday unattended in a car parked on a Bedford street, a CPS official said Wednesday.

The baby was in foster care Wednesday, CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said.

The mother, Vanna Smith, 23, told investigators that she had arrived home about 4:30 a.m. Monday and went inside and went to sleep, leaving the baby in the car, police reported.

At a hearing Tuesday, the judge also granted an order to allow CPS officials to interview Smith's 2-year-old daughter, who was inside the residence when police found the baby in the car.

In 2008, caseworkers investigated a report that Smith neglected and sexually abused her daughter, according to CPS records. The family refused to cooperate, Gonzales said, and CPS could not get a court order to force their participation, so the case was not pursued, Gonzales said.

On Monday, a Bedford patrol officer responding to a 911 call about an unattended child in a car in the 2000 block of Natchez Drive found the baby strapped in an infant seat in the unlocked car. A rear door was slightly ajar, and the window rolled down a bit, the officer reported.

The sky was cloudy, and the temperature was in the mid-80s, according to police.

Smith was arrested, and she remained in the Bedford Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $25,000.

The baby was released to CPS after hospital treatment, officials said.



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