CLEVELAND — The I-TEAM is giving you an inside look at a rescue involving two toddlers who were found home alone in a filthy room with no food or water.
According to Cleveland police, officers were called out for a report of children being left alone. A neighbor told officers the mom had not been seen since the night before.
In body camera footage shared with the I-TEAM, the officer can be seen spotting tiny faces in the window.
He says to them, “Hi, I’m Chris. Either of you speak? Mommy home?”
Officers then try everything to get in the apartment. They pull on doors, talk to neighbors, even speak to the landlord by phone.
Finally, a neighbor gets something so the officer can climb up to a window. He then takes off his bulletproof vest and police equipment so that he can crawl inside. There, he finds two-year-old twins.
The children were taken to the hospital to be evaluated. Their current conditions are unknown.
The mom, Maria Garcia, has since been charged with child endangering.
So where was the mother? The I-TEAM tracked her down by phone.
She claims she had hopped on the rapid to get some diapers. Then she said she’d “only been gone a minute.” She added that her “home was not a filthy house.” She calls this “not that significant of a case.”
Garcia has pleaded not guilty.
Cuyahoga County child welfare workers are now involved with the family. Garcia told us she can only visit her kids for the time being until she completes some classes.