A Kansas City mother is in jail after her two children are found dirty, alone and thirsty in an underground, wooden shipping crate, KCTV News 5 reports.
Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies say a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old child were living in an 8-by-10-foot cave with no shoes, no water and no access to civilization. One side of the crate was missing, and the box was furnished with two small blankets, distressed vehicle parts, thin wires and trash.
Although Kansas City News 5 editor Dave Eckert and reporter Jamie Oberg were not allowed inside the cave, a man who stores his car in the area said, “I know this cave. I can’t believe someone would leave children there…Temperatures drop, ceiling is low in some ports, it’s not paved, it’s pretty rough.”
The journalists had the chance to go inside a cave similar to one where these children were being kept. They described it as chilly, muddy, damp, as well as being filled with car parts and trash.
Brittany Mugrauer was charged with two counts of felony child endangerment on Friday and has not yet been seen in court.
Officers who found the children were originally investigating a possible chop shop for stolen vehicles underground. The millions of square feet of empty underground facilities are home to businesses involved in storage and warehousing.
Fox News explained that when investigators found the children they did not seem frightened by or them or the fact that they were alone. The children were eating roman noodles with their bare, dirty hands, and when asked why they were not wearing shoes the responded that they didn’t have any.
KCTV5 says that the 24-year-old mother admitted to leaving the children in the car without a parent. She also explained that they had been living there for several days.
The two children were taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital, where they were given clean clothes, bathed, and evaluated.
As of Saturday night, the kids are in protective custody and Mugrauer’s bond was set at $75,000.