Saturday, July 08, 2006

another child left behind

Mother of boy left at Taste found

July 8, 2006


The mother of a 6-year-old boy abandoned at the Taste of Chicago turned herself in to authorities Saturday morning, police said.

The woman turned herself in to Harrison Area detectives around 11 a.m. Saturday, according to police News Affairs Officer Marcel Bright.

No information was immediately available regarding her identity or why she left the boy, Bright said.

The investigation was continuing to determine if charges would be sought, he said.

The 6-year-old boy remains in protective custody and the mother was being questioned at Harrison Area detective headquarters, 3151 W. Harrison St.

The boy's mother had contact with authorities in 2003, and records indicate she was overwhelmed and needed help raising the boy, who has spent some time in foster care, according to state child-welfare reports.

The reports say the child was put into foster care in April 2003 after the mother allegedly called authorities to report she had locked herself in a room so she wouldn't hurt him. He was returned to his mother in September 2004 after she had received counseling and classes, the reports say.

Then in September 2005, she allegedly left the child alone, which led to a report to Chicago Police for endangering the life of a child.

Kendall Marlowe, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, confirmed that the agency had previous contact with the boy's family, including substantiated allegations of neglect, and that DCFS was still providing supportive services to the family.

The child was taken into DCFS custody July 1, a day after he was found at the Taste, Marlowe said.

He is one of 72 children who have gotten lost at the Taste so far this year. All but him were reunited with family, police said.