Children Found Living in a Bus

SPLENDORA, March 7, 2012 - Around 10 a.m. Wednesday, a postal worker contacted the office of Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts to report two unsupervised children living in squalor in an old school bus on Three S Street in the Splendora area. Judge Metts immediately contacted Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden with the information.

Constable Hayden and a Precinct 4 Corporal went to the address and found an 11-year-old white female and a 5-year-old white male alone in an old bus that was converted to living quarters but was in extremely poor condition. He contacted the children’s great-aunt who said she also lived there, but works from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The aunt said the children’s parents were in federal prison and had been incarcerated since December 2010 and she was caring for them as best she could. It is not known whether she had legal guardianship of the children.

The children were not enrolled in school and were filthy and unkempt. There was a refrigerator in separate structure on the property containing very little food. When Constable Hayden learned the girl would turn 12 later this month, he asked what she wanted for her birthday and she told him she would like to go eat at Golden Corral.

There was an approximately 10’ x 10’ cesspool in the backyard. However, plumbing inside the converted bus went into the ground. There was trash all over the property and there was a strong foul odor inside the bus.

Constable Hayden contacted Child Protective Services and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Brett Ligon and a CPS caseworker also responded to the scene.

CPS took custody of the children, removing them from the premises.

Constable Hayden called the children’s living conditions “deplorable.”

“This is a very disturbing situation on many levels,” he said. “I’m glad someone took the initiative to report what was happening and as a result, these two children will now receive the help they need and hopefully get their lives and educations back on track.”

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