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Rebecca Sedwick Update: Mother of girl accused of bullying 12-year-old who committed suicide is arrested on unrelated charges, police say

Rebecca Sedwick CBS

Rebecca Sedwick
CBS
(CBS) WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - The mother of one of the girls accused of bullying Rebecca Sedwick - a 12-year-old Florida girl who committed suicide - has also been arrested, the Polk County Sheriff's Office has confirmed.

Authorities arrested 30-year-old Vivian Vosburg and charged her with two counts of child abuse with bodily harm and four counts of child neglect.

The Sheriff's Office confirmed the charges are not related to the October 14 arrest of Vosburg's 14-year-old daughter in the Sedwick case.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is scheduled to hold a news conference on the arrest at 5:30 p.m. EST.

On Sept. 9, authorities say, Rebecca climbed a tower at an abandoned concrete plant and hurled herself to her death.

Authorities have said Rebecca was "terrorized" by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts.

Two girls, ages 12 and 14, were arrestedMonday in connection with the case and charged with felony aggravated stalking, police have said. Judd said investigators made the arrests after the 14-year-old made an incriminating comment on social media over the weekend.

"She made a comment in reference to, 'Yeah I bullied Rebecca, and yeah she's dead, but I don't give a blank,'" Judd told CBS News. "I met with the detectives and supervisors... and said, 'She needs to go to jail. We need to arrest her.'"

Judd told CBS News that what these two girls' did to Sedwick was criminal because "they terrorized her."

"They did things like, 'You should die, you should drink bleach and die," said Judd. "You see a pattern of harassment, a pattern of intimidation and that's what they did. They intimidated this girl. They harassed her. She had no peace."

According to the New York Times, Judd was particularly displeased with the behavior of the 14-year-old's parents who reportedly did not take the girl's phone away after she was questioned in the case.

"Parents, who instead of taking that device and smashing it into a thousand pieces in front of that child, say her account was hacked," Judd told the Times.

Following the girls' arrests, Judd said he had not ruled out charging the young suspects' parents.

"It only can happen when parents don't parent their children," he said. "You need to know what they're talking about online. You need to know who their friends are. You need to know if they're bullying people at school."

Court papers allege the 14-year-old began harassing Sedwick over a boy both girls had dated. The affidavits filed by a police investigator also indicate the younger girl and Sedwick were once close friends, but that the 14-year-old may have convinced the younger girl to turn on Sedwick, even getting her to beat up her former best friend.

The two young suspects are now under house arrest. If they are convicted, the sheriff says they are unlikely to face jail time because this is their first offense.

Investigators believe as many as 15 girls were involved in the campaign of harassment against Sedwick.

Complete coverage of the Rebecca Ann Sedwick case on Crimesider

  • Stephanie Slifer

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