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May 25, 2012

U.S. News: Police seek help identifying three young children found abandoned in Oregon

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thumbnail Police seek help identifying three young children found abandoned in Oregon
May 25th 2012, 15:07

Portland Police Dept. / Portland Police Dept.

Three children were found abandonded in a shed in Portland, Ore.

By Elizabeth Chuck,

Three small children were found abandoned in a shed in Portland, Ore., on Thursday and were taken into protective custody as police try to identify them and find their parents.

The oldest of the kids, a boy, is approximately 3 years old. A girl, about 2, and an infant girl, believed to be somewhere between 8 and 15 months, were found with the boy Thursday morning, authorities said.

Around 9:30 a.m., a man called 911 to report hearing children's voices from a shed behind his house in Southeast Portland.

The shed was on the property of a vacant residence, police said in a statement.

Officers said there were homeless people "on the premises" who told them the children were abandoned there the night before by a woman they believed to be their mother.

It's not known, however, if the children are siblings. The Department of Human Services took them into protective custody and gave them medical evaluations.

A resident on the street where the kids the kids were discovered said she had noticed strangers walking across from her home on Thursday morning, where the empty shed is.

"We have a real homeless problem in our neighborhood, so I keep an eye across the street," Judy Baxter, a homeowner on Southeast Rhine Street, told

She said she saw a man and a woman walk into the backyard of a vacant house on Thursday morning, so she called the property owner to suggest he report them. Soon after, police arrived.

Baxter told that officials led the kids out of the shed through pouring rain; the toddlers held the hands of state welfare workers, while a police officer carried the infant out.

The kids were wearing coats and had backpacks, she said. Authorities who responded to the scene gave them stuffed animals, she told

Jennifer Estus, who lives next to the vacant property, told that homeless people often sleep in the driveway behind the home.

Police said the two older children weigh 28 pounds, and the infant is 15 pounds. All three have olive skin, dark hair and brown eyes.

A call to the Portland police on Thursday from was not immediately returned.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the DHS Child Abuse Hotline at 503-731-3100.

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