Police May File Charges In Alleged Abandonment

Police say charges may be filed against a Wheeling woman after she allegedly abandoned two children she was babysitting at Heritage Port Monday evening.

Officers responding to the report at 6:50 p.m. Monday at Heritage Port spoke to a woman who said the babysitter forced the children on her and then left the scene.

Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball said the babysitter “approached the witness and said, ‘You take the kids,’ and left.”

The woman was watching the 7-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy while their mother was at school, Kimball said. The children were “dirty and unbathed” and reportedly told officers they had not eaten anything all day.

Officers subsequently transported the children to police headquarters and contacted Child Protective Services. Police and CPS interviewed several of the children’s family members, including the mother, before CPS decided to release the boy and girl to their grandmother.

Kimball said the report officers filed was unclear, but he believes the babysitter was acquainted with the witness, whom he did not identify. He also said he believes the children were with the babysitter for most of the day.

Investigators are working with the Ohio County Prosecutor’s office to determine what charges to file against the babysitter, if any, he noted.

“The kids are safe, so now we can complete the investigation and file charges at the appropriate time,” he said.