Young children found alone and shivering in unheated apartment in NW Indiana

A mother is in custody after her two young children were found alone and shivering in a cold apartment Monday afternoon in Merrillville, Indiana.

The children, ages 5 and 6, were discovered by a maintenance worker who entered the apartment at 1240 W. 52nd Drive to repair the heat, according to the Lake County (Ind.) Sheriff's Office.

The children were wearing coats but were still shivering in the cold apartment, officials said. Police discovered the children had been left there without functioning heat from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The only food they had to eat was ice cream and Pepsi, according to officials.


The childrens' mother, 44, had apparently gone to work at an area grocery store, officials said. She was taken into custody pending criminal charges of neglect of a dependent.

The children are now in the care of other family members.

The Indiana Department of Child Services is investigating.