Mother and Stepfather Arrested on Child Abuse Charges

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DATE/TIME: March 27, 2014 at 8 p.m.


SUSPECT #1: Jamie Hicks, DOB: 7/01/1970, W/F, RESTRICTED ADDRESS
CHARGES: Aggravated Child Abuse (2 counts) and Child Neglect (2 counts)

SUSPECT #2: Vernon Lovell, DOB: 8/18/1960, B/M, RESTRICTED ADDRESS
CHARGES: Child Neglect (2 counts)

VICTIMS: Twin 16-year-old brothers


On March 25, 2014 at 4:41 p.m., the mother called 911 to report two of her children missing. The Tampa Police Department immediately issued an alert to all Bay Area law enforcement. Shortly after the alert was issued, a citizen spotted the children walking on U.S. 41 at County Line Road. A Hillsborough County deputy responded to the scene and located a 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy. During follow up interviews, detectives determined the mother was denying food to the two oldest boys. Both were malnourished and are now hospitalized. The mother and stepfather were both arrested. A total of eight children lived in the home; 16-year-old twin males, 13-year-old male, 12-year old female, 10 year old male, 7 year old male, 4 year old male, 2 year old female. The children gave consistent accounts of abuse at the hands of their mother. Detectives are awaiting the results of medical tests to determine if the parents will face additional charges.

Laura McElroy