Three small children found alone; back with mother

By Chuck Weber email

PALM SPRINGS, FL (WFLX)-Three very young children-- ages three, two, and one-- are back with their mother after neighbors found them alone in the stairwell of their apartment complex in Palm Springs. No one claimed the children for at least four hours. The father who was supposed to be watching them faces criminal charges.

A neighbor at the Village Club Apartments told police she became aware of the girl and two boys about 7:30 a.m. When one of the kids fell on the stairs, she said she went out to sit with them, and tried to find the parents.

Around 10:00 a.m. Palm Springs Police got a call and responded. No one recognized the children at the management office. So officers took them and notified the Department of Children and Families.

Police spokeswoman Corporal Michele Vazquez said it was after noon, when the father showed up at the apartment office. Vazquez said 23-year old Demetrius Wells told them he had fallen asleep. Officers charged Wells with child neglect.

Both Wells and the children's mother "were very concerned," said Corporal Vazquez. "The children are very young," she said. "You know I understand times are hard right now, but your children, they can't fend for themselves. You need to know where they're at, at all times."

"That is more than carelessness," remarked Leroy Grant, a neighbor in the complex. "Somebody's got to see what's going on about that."

DCF spokeswoman Elisa Cramer said the three children had been reunited with their mother. Cramer said her agency will help the mother get child care for the kids.