A Sarasota couple was arrested after deputies say they abused and neglected a 4-year-old boy.
Shane Samuels, 25, and Jennifer Feddema, 25, were arrested on Tuesday in Sarasota after an investigation found the pair neglected and abused the boy.
The investigation began Jan. 20, when deputies responded to a residence to assist investigators with the Department of Children and Family Services while they performed a welfare check on the 4-year-old child. An agent saw a large red, swollen area on the side of the boy’s face. When asked how the boy suffered the injury, both Samuels and Feddema told investigators he fell in the backyard.
Fearing for the boy’s safety, investigators removed him from the home while the investigation continued.
Never miss a local story.
During a Jan. 22 examination, doctors determined the boy’s injuries were inconsistent with an accident and displayed severe physical abuse. Further interviews with the child, in addition to bruising and hemorrhaging on the child’s face, neck and ears, revealed Samuels forcefully covered the boy’s mouth.
At one point, when asked if he was scared of anyone, the boy said, “I’m scared of the boogeyman” and told investigators that Samuels told him the boogeyman was “going to get him.”
Samuels faces a count of aggravated child abuse and is being held in Sarasota County Jail without bond. Feddema faces a charge of child neglect and was released Wednesday on $10,000 bond.
The child is safe, deputies said, and in the custody of DCFS.