CNN - Interviews with homeless people and calls to a tip line have produced some leads in the investigation into who left three young children alone in a vacant building in a residential Portland, Oregon, neighborhood, a police spokesman said Friday.
Investigators are looking for family members who know why the children -- all apparently 3-years-old or younger -- were left alone.
"We obviously have some questions for them about what happened and how this could have happened, police Lt. Robert King said Friday. "But the really good news is the children are safe."
The children, who range in age from between 8 and 15 months for the youngest to 3 years for the oldest, appeared to have been reasonably well clothed and fed before they were apparently abandoned, King said.
They were all checked out medically and appear to be healthy, King said. They are currently in the care of the state Department of Human Services, he said.
King said homeless people in the area where the children were found have provided some information, as have callers to a tip line. But he said investigators have not yet identified the children's parents or any other family members.
The investigation began with a 911 call placed about 9:25 a.m. Thursday, about a man who'd heard children's voices apparently coming from a shed behind his house in East Portland.
Police officers arrived and found the "vacant residence" where the sounds had come from. There they talked to "a number of homeless people on the premises" and discovered the three "olive-skinned" children.
The youngest is described by police as a 15-pound infant who is between the age of 8 and 15 months. She has short black hair, brown eyes and two lower front teeth showing.
The next oldest child is another girl. Weighing 28 pounds, she has long black hair and brown eyes and is about 2 years old, police estimate.
The third child is a boy, approximately 3 years old. He also weighs 28 pounds and has brown eyes, as well as short black hair.
Homeless people told police that a woman, believed to be the children's mother, had abandoned the children there the night before.
A woman who lives across the street from where the children were discovered said she saw a couple of people on the property Thursday morning and called the owner to suggest he call police, The Oregonian newspaper in Portland reported.
"Little did I know they had three babies in the backyard,'' the newspaper quoted Judy Baxter as saying. "It was real sad when we saw the kids come out.''
Authorities are pleading for the public's help to identity the children, who are currently in protective custody and being medically evaluated. Anyone who has information about the identity of the children, or the circumstances under which they came to be at the vacant residence in Southeast Portland, is asked to contact the DHS Child Abuse Hotline, 24/7, at 503-731-3100.
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