DCFS Investigated Home of Babies Found in Squalor Before

Three babies found amid rats, roaches and booze

Three adults accused of keeping three babies in a West Side apartment with deplorable living conditions faced a judge on Sunday, where bond was set at between $10,000 and $25,000, authorities said.

Latrice S. Johnson, 23, and Kevin Wysinger, 21, both of the 600 block of North Spaulding Avenue, were each charged with three counts of felony endangering the life or health of a child and three counts of contributing to the neglect of a child, police said.

Shirley Fenner, 21, also of the 600 block of North Spaulding Avenue, was charged with one count each of endangering the life or health of a child, and contributing to the neglect of a child, police said.

Cook County Judge Maura Slattery-Boyle set bonds of $25,000 for Johnson, $10,000 for Wysinger and $15,000 for Fenner, according to a court clerk.

The Department of Children and Family Services is investigating allegations of neglect in the incident, spokesman Jimmie Whitelow said Monday morning. The agency also has a pending investigation of neglect under way concerning two of the children from November 2008.

About 9:30 p.m. Saturday, police entered a second-floor apartment at 638 N. Spaulding Ave. to find a mess -- open bottles of alcohol, rats, roaches and among the filth -- two babies, police said

There was no heat, no running water and no food found on the premises, and police found a toilet overflowing with waste and an open front door with a sheet covering the doorway to separate the living space from a dark hallway and stairwell.

The children, boys ages 14 and 16 months, were on the floor with the rodents, wearing winter coats and surrounded by numerous open containers of alcoholic beverages, exposed electrical wires and a space heater, according to police.

Wysinger and Johnson were taken into custody and the children were taken to Norweigian-American Hospital to be examined. Wysinger and Johnson both lived in the Spaulding Avenue apartment.

Thirty minutes later, while assisting officers waited for an evidence technician to photograph the home, an officer heard noises coming from a bedroom, police said. In the room -- hidden between a mattress and the wall -- was a 4-month-old girl.

Wysinger and Johnson never told police about the third child, police said, adding that if Officers Geraldo Vega and Joseph Pattison had not been alert, the child may have died from cold exposure.

While officers were on the scene, Fenner arrived and was arrested.

At least one of the adults arrested was a parent of at least one of the children, but it was not clear if the children are related.

The children were originally taken into protective custody, but all three were in the care of relatives as of Monday morning, Whitelow said.

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