A missing 11-year-old Brooklyn Park girl was found safe Monday, but authorities removed three other children from the home, which they have deemed unfit.
Authorities also are investigating the death of an 8-year-old boy at the home last February, and the children’s mother was hospitalized.
Brooklyn Park Deputy Chief Mark Bruley said investigators are working with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to look into the boy’s death.
It’s one of several local and national cases in which authorities have removed children from their homes. Most recently, a Minneapolis woman was charged with repeatedly raping and torturing her young children.
Monday’s incident started at 3 a.m., when officers were called to the home after the 11-year-old girl ran away following an argument with her mother. Conditions in the home were “unsatisfactory,” Bruley said, and a 3-year-old child was put into protective custody.
As officers searched for the 11-year-old, they found a 12-year-old sibling sleeping in a nearby park. That child had run away from home “a couple of days ago” and was living in the park, Bruley said. Another sibling was found at a friend’s home.
The mother was “obviously exhibiting some sort of medical condition” and was taken to a hospital, Bruley said.
Almost 12 hours after the girl was reported missing, a neighbor couple who had an appointment at a clinic in Bloomington found the missing girl sitting on the curb outside the clinic.
The couple recognized the child from the neighborhood and knew police were at the home. The girl asked them for a ride to Brooklyn Park, and the couple turned her over to police.
Bruley said police have been called to the family’s home several times — for the death investigation in February and for juvenile complaints and runaways.
The 11-year-old girl is physically fine, Bruley said. She was with detectives Monday night and was to be placed in protective custody along with her siblings.
Bruley said police aren’t releasing names of the family or which hospital the mother was taken to.
Neighbors Marilyn Harris and George Mazoko, who found the girl, told Minnesota Public Radio News that the girl said a friend’s mother had dropped her off at the clinic; they said she did not tell them anything else.
Mazoko said that police had been at the girl’s home before they left for the clinic.
“We didn’t think of taking her to the police or taking her to call 911 because we knew the police [were] here,” he said.
Pat Pheifer • 612-673-7252