2 Kids Found Living In Abandoned Bus Near Houston

SPLENDORA (AP) – Two children who were found living in a stench-filled abandoned school bus near Houston, its windows blocked and the lot around it covered in trash, are in the custody of Texas child welfare workers, officials said Thursday.

A postal worker discovered the children, ages 11 and 5, at the bus in Splendora about 10 a.m. Wednesday, officials said. Their parents are believed to be in prison for embezzling money from Hurricane Ike victims in 2008. The children are not enrolled at local schools.

The bus appeared to have electricity, an air conditioning unit installed in one window and bunk beds inside for the children. But several neighbors told the Houston Chronicle that the children typically looked unkempt and could often be spotted running around at night.

“They always had dirty clothes on (and) no shoes, even in the winter,” said nearby resident Gayla Payne, who said the 11-year-old girl told her daughter that she bathes twice a week.

Investigators told KTRK-TV that the children have been living in the bus since the beginning of the year.

The children told Texas Child Protective Services workers that they were home-schooled. A woman on the property — believed to be the children’s great-aunt — told CPS she worked 12-hour shifts Monday through Friday but that she stayed with the children at night.

“The aunt said that she does provide meals for them during the day,” Montgomery County Constable Rowdy Hayden told KTRK-TV. “Looking around the (the bus), we didn’t see a lot of food readily available. One of the neighbors had told us earlier that from time to time she will bring food over for the children.”

The children are in foster care pending an investigation by Child Protective Services, spokeswoman Gwen Carter said. CPS workers will appear in court Thursday to ask a judge for emergency custody of the children, she said.

Splendora is 35 miles northeast of Houston.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Doodlebug2222

    These are just children, and they have to come to terms with adapting to a very hostile and dangerous environment because their parents tried to dupe the system to benefit. Yet if they had simply learned to live within their means, broke but meager – if they had seen all the wealth they had at their fingertips, within the love of their children, and each other > then none of this had to happen. They can excuse it all away, and probably will. But the truth is they only have themselves to blame for the situation they find themselves in, and the situation their children are in. I feel sorry for these two kids, having to understand all of this, be w/o their parents.

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