NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Police say a Newport News mother locked her three children in bedrooms without access to water, food or bathrooms.
According to Holly McPherson with the Newport News Police Department, officers responded to an apartment in the 400 block of Manor Road for a child neglect call. When officers arrived, McPherson said they saw a 4-year-old in a second story window. They asked the child to open the front door, and the child said the room he was in was locked.
McPherson said firefighters then entered the home using a ladder and discovered that the 4-year-old boy and his two sisters, aged 5 and 6, were locked in bedrooms with reversed locks.
"They're going to remember that for the rest of their lives that my mom locked me up," neighbor Henry Diggs told WAVY.com. "What could have happened if they hadn't had got help? Would that child have been locked in there for days?"
The children were locked in the bedrooms for about an hour before officers responded.
Their mother, 25-year-old Genavea E. Blake, was located at work and later arrested on three counts of abduction and three counts of child neglect.
"For me, that's child neglect, although I don't know this lady," Diggs said. "If she had just knocked on my door we would have been glad to assist this woman to take care of those kids while she worked."
Child Protective Services was contacted and the children are in the care of relatives.
"She made a bad decision," added neighbor Karen Mackey. "I think instead of charging her, they should work with her and maybe find some type of assistance."
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