Mother who locked four kids in basement faces felony charges

Mother who locked four kids in basement faces felony charges

Police identified Charnae Lee, 29, as the woman arrested Sunday for locking her four children in the basement.

Lee, of the 1900 block of East Atlantic Street in Harrowgate, now faces four counts each on charges of Unlawful Restraint, False Imprisonment, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Recklessly Endangering another Person, police said.

According to police, a boy called 911 around 1:30 p.m. to say that he and three siblings were locked in their basement in the Atlantic Street home.

Police responded and gained access through a second floor window.

The children, two boys, 13 and 9, and two girls, 12 and 10, claimed their mother told them at midnight Saturday to carry their mattresses to the basement and stay there.

“The children did not have access to food, running water, the bathroom or heat,” police said. “They were able to contact police with a cell phone that could only dial 911. The children were transported to St. Christopher’s Hospital for observation.”

The mother was located at her job. She reportedly admitted sending the kids to the basement, but said she didn’t know the door was locked.

“She informed the investigators that she did tell the kids to get their mattresses, and take them to the basement and stay there for disciplinary reasons; however, she did not know the door was locked,” police said.

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