RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Wake County couple is facing multiple felony charges for abandoning their nine children in a condemned home with no electricity, no running water, molded meat scattered throughout the home, and holes in the ceiling, walls, and floor.
When Wake County deputies tracked down Rebecca Bell, she was living in a $300,000 Wake Forest home.
Many neighbors were surprised by the arrest because they didn’t know that Bell had children or that she was married.
“The past few months, they’ve painted the house, kept up the yard, so yeah, we’re really surprised,” said a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.
Bell and her husband Michael now face five felony neglect charges and five misdemeanor charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“She kept to herself,” said the anonymous neighbor. “I never saw any kids out there. I never saw him there either.”
Neighbors never saw Michael Bell at the home because he has had a previous run in with the law.
“Mr. Bell will be having an additional appearance this weekend,” said a Wake County Prosecutor. “The State Bureau of Investigation is going to take out additional child pornography later this week.”
Court records show Michael Bell has been in custody since February when he was arrested on 12 felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
“I was really shocked,” said the anonymous neighbor upon finding out about Michael Bell’s previous charges.
Now neighbors say they’re concerned for kids they’ve never met who are now in the custody of child protective services.
“It’s just horrible,” said the neighbor. “Having all of those kids, I just pray they’re safe, and in a safe place. I think the parents are where they need to be.”
The Bell’s are both being held on a $250,000 bond.
Michael Bell faces an additional $750,000 bond on the child exploitation charges.
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