WINNIPEG – A 24-year-old mother of three is facing numerous charges after allegedly leaving her young children home alone.
The children, all under age five, were found barricaded in a room inside their Point Douglas home, living in deplorable conditions, police said.
“My partner was taking out the garbage and he heard kids crying,” said one neighbour, who didn’t want to be identified.
She didn’t think anything of it but around midnight Thursday, a passerby did and called police.
“An adult female did hear two children calling out from a window,” said Const. Jason Michalyshen of the Winnipeg Police Service. “She was having a conversation with these children.”
Police forced their way into the home a short time later and found three children, a two-year-old boy and three-year-old and four-year-old girls, barricaded inside a bedroom, likely for hours.
Police said their living conditions were even more concerning.
“There was evidence of bedbugs, there was evidence of hoarding, there was garbage, dog and cat feces,” said Michalyshen. “The residence was in deplorable condition.”
The children were removed by Child and Family Services; two dogs and three cats were taken by the city’s animal services department.
The mother came home five hours later. She now faces charges of failing to provide the necessities of life, forcible confinement and cruelty to animals.
“No animal, no child, no human should be living in this type of condition,” said Michalyshen.
A neighbour told Global News a couple of weeks ago she heard children crying, but she couldn’t pinpoint where the noise was coming from. Then just last Wednesday, another neighbour heard the same cries. The next day, police arrived to find the children left alone.
“They should be nurtured, not put in a room,” said Neil, who didn’t want to give his last name. “I’m pretty shocked.”
Neil lives nearby and said he could never imagine leaving his 17-month-old son alone when there are so many places that can help.
“It hurts because there’s supports out there — if she was struggling with anything, there’s supports out there,” he said.
The mother was released on a promise to appear in court.
© Shaw Media, 2013