A day after three young children were found abandoned inside a shed in southeast Portland, police located their mother, but they haven't released additional details.
Officers said a man called 911 just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday after hearing children's voices coming from a shed behind a home on the 7900 block of Southeast Rhine Street.
Police identified a vacant residence as the source of the voices, with a number of homeless people present at the scene. Officers interviewed those people, who said a woman had abandoned the kids Wednesday night. They believed that woman was the children's mother.
Neighbor Judy Baxter said she wanted to break up a group of homeless squatters there, so she called the owner of the rental property.
"I called the owner and said, 'Call non-emergency. Or come over. Do something.' And that's when it all started," Baxter said.
Baxter never expected the call would lead police to three abandoned children.
"Then the lady cop came over and said there's three babies back there. They called DHS. It was heartbreaking to see those little kids come out," Baxter said.
Portland police said the group of homeless people staying at the property told officers the children were 3 years old, 2 years old and 8 months old, and that they were left there late Wednesday night by their mother. The group claimed the children were never alone and that a woman was in charge of babysitting them.
The children were taken into protective custody and given medical checkups.
"It was sad. (They were) given stuffed animals. Two (of the children) were walking, the cop had the other in the arms," Baxter said.
Since being found, the children have been placed in a temporary foster home. A DHS spokeswoman said the three children are doing well.
At about 12:30 p.m. Friday, police announced the mother of the children was located. They did not release any additional details because the case remains under investigation.
Officers said they do not need any additional tips in the case.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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