The Salt Lake City Police Department was called to the Road Home late Sunday night after four children were found abandoned.
The children, ages 9, 5, 2 and a 9-month-old, were under the care of a shelter employee. Their 27-year-old father had been arrested by Utah Transit Authority police three hours prior to the officers being called and was in jail. The children were alone in a room at the shelter, but SLCPD public-information officer Dennis McGowan said it was unclear how or to whom their abandonment had become apparent.
The children, whom McGowan described as being in "good condition," were placed in the care of the Division of Child and Family Services. DCFS spokesperson Elizabeth Sollis says children are typically placed in an emergency shelter facility called The Christmas Box, with which the state agency has a contract. Within 72 hours of the children being placed in state custody, there is a mandatory hearing before a judge to decide what will happen to them, i.e., whether they will continue to remain with the state or be returned to the parents.