3 arrested, charged with child neglect in Columbia County

By Francine Frazier, Web news editor, ffrazier@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 10:34:06 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 14 2014 06:37:31 PM EDT

Columbia County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Rikki Allagood, John Newhart, Victoria Swezey

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. -

A mother, father and grandmother in Columbia County were arrested for child neglect on Monday after an investigation that was sparked when a neighbor found two toddlers wandering unsupervised at an intersection.

Tony Petty found the toddlers, aged 2 and 1, at about 8:30 a.m. near the intersection of Pilots Way and Mayfair Lane in the Mayfair Subdivision off State Road 247.

A joint investigation between Columbia County deputies and Department of Children and Families child protection investigators found the toddlers had left a home at 228 SW Pilots Way while four adults inside were asleep.

The toddlers were found about 300 yards away by Petty, who took them to his nearby home and talked with neighbors to attempt to locate their parents. After he failed to locate their home, he called the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

The CCSO notified DCF as deputies began a door-to-door neighborhood canvas to locate the toddlers' home. A volunteer found the home at 10:34 a.m.

As a result of the investigation, the mother, 21-year-old Rikki Allagood, the father, 19-year-old John Newhart, and the grandmother, 38-year-old Victoria Swezey, were arrested for child neglect. Allagood and Swezey face additional charges for obstruction for false statements given during interviews, the police said.

All three were booked into the Columbia County Detention Facility with no bond.

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