• Parents of kids found in filthy conditions defend spending $100 on cable, Internet


    BITHLO, Fla. - Two Orange County parents accused of allowing their children to live in a mobile home full of bugs and filth defended their decision to spend more than $100 on cable and Internet.

    Michael and Vanessa Harrison bonded out of the Orange County Jail Thursday, accused of child neglect.

    The parents were arrested on charges of allowing their children to live in deplorable conditions.

    Tipsters said the Harrisons were neglecting their 6-year-old, 1-year-old and 3-month-old children.

    Investigators said the home is overridden with roaches and bugs. They said the 1-year-old had over 75 bites on him.

    "Why someone would go to such lengths and to stoop so low as to separate a family who is trying to make do with what they've got?" asked Vanessa Harrison.

    Reports show the couple are living off of Michael Harrison's $814-per-month VA check and live in a mobile home. The home is powered with an extension cord plugged into a neighbor's shed.

    Although $814 a month is the only income the family has, and the rent for the trailer is $575 a month, the family is spending $115 a month on Internet and a premium cable package.

    "Well with the Internet I knew I needed [it] because most of the job applications are online nowadays," Vanessa Harrison said.

    She said the premium cable was mainly for her children.

    Neighbor Tiffany Clark said she tried to help the family out, but stopped after she said they were spending more of their money on cigarettes and electronics than on their children.

    "How would you feel if you were that little baby stuck in the bed and you couldn't move and you have these little bugs biting you?" Clark asked. "Anybody who is doing that to a child should be prosecuted to the fullest, because the state pays you to take care of your child, so what are you doing with your money?"

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