3 Young Brothers Discovered Alone & Sick In Squalid, Abandoned Home
A lethargic toddler was so “pale and discolored” an officer thought he was dead.
BROOKFIELD, WI — Police conducting a welfare check on three unsupervised children at an abandoned home two days before Christmas made a sad discovery.
According to a criminal complaint, a man stumbled upon the brothers after he had stopped by his late father’s home, which was supposed to be empty.
When cops arrived on the scene, they found the siblings, ages six, five, and two. The youngest, stated the complaint, was covered in urine and lying on a hardwood floor next to a bottle containing Brisk iced tea. The “very lethargic” toddler, who had a fever of 105 degrees, was “pale and discolored.”
"At first, I thought he was deceased, but thankfully, he was not. He was just sick," noted Officer Nikki Funk of the Brookfield Police Department.
The children "didn't have shoes or socks,” she added. “They were pretty dirty. Their feet were black with dirt.”
The cobweb-covered interior of the home “appeared to be in shambles,” as if “it had not been cleaned in years,” police wrote in the complaint.
“It was the most deplorable conditions, with children living in it,” Funk told FOX6.
The oldest boy said his dad was in prison and their mom, 31-year-old Lindsay Manriquez, "left them home alone around lunchtime” — over seven hours earlier.
When Manriquez showed up at the house, authorities observed her “pupils were pin-point and her speech was slurred,” CBS58 reported.
The mom told investigators she had to work that day at 11 A.M. and “had no one else to watch the kids.”
Prosecutors on the case noted that Manriquez’s brother, who now has temporary custody of the boys, alleged his sister "left the children unsupervised numerous times in the past” when he couldn’t watch them.
He also said he had attempted to get Child Protective Services involved before, “but nothing was done.”
Brookfield police were determined to brighten the children’s bleak holiday after the incident. “Christmas is a time of miracles, and that's what we wanted to try to do, create a Christmas miracle,” said Officer Joe Socolick. “These children were in need, so we thought it was our duty to help them.”
The department was able to raise money, buy toys, clothes, and other presents and deliver everything while the three brothers slept on Christmas Eve.
Manriquez has been charged with three counts of child neglect and is due in court for a hearing on January 24. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
As for the kids, Manriquez’s brother, who wished not to be named, told ABC12: ”They’re doing great. They're happy. We’re working on getting them healthy and just making sure they're comfortable.”