HAYWARD -- Child neglect and drug charges are pending against a 32-year-old mother after Hayward police say they entered a hotel room and found three young children who hadn't eaten in nearly two days.
The discovery took place at 11:19 a.m. on Wednesday when officers responded to a liquor store at the corner of A Street and South Garden Avenue after an employee there dialed 911 and told a dispatcher that a woman ran into the store and told him she was "being held against her will" at a nearby hotel, Hayward Police Sgt. Mark Ormsby said.
Police arrived, determined the woman was under the influence of methamphetamine, then conducted a welfare check of the hotel room where she said she'd been staying for three days, Ormsby said. Officers entered the woman's room at the Heritage Inn on the 400 block of A Street and discovered three of her children -- a 2-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy.
The youngest sibling, police said, wore a diaper and had a rash.
His older sister and brother were clothed.
When police transported the children to a hospital at 11:30 a.m. for a welfare check, they told a nurse they had not eaten in more than a day-and-a-half.
"They said they couldn't exactly remember when they last ate, but it was about 36 hours prior," Ormsby said.
The children were fed then placed in the custody of the Alameda County Department of Children and Family Services where they will remain until the case is complete, Ormsby said.
Their mother told police she'd been motel hopping with her children because she had been evicted from her Hayward apartment a few months back, Ormsby said. She also mumbled to officers about people coming and going from the room.
Although officers did not find drug paraphernalia in the room, the mother said that some of the people "going in and out of the room" were smoking crystal meth.
"She also admitted she'd smoked meth within the last six hours," Ormsby said.
Officers evaluated the mother, determined she was high and detained her, police said. She was then transported to a psychiatric facility for a 72-hour evaluation.
Later Wednesday, about 6 p.m., officers learned the mother also had another child after the woman's mother called police and told them her 13-year-old granddaughter showed up at her home in South Hayward.
Police believe the teenage girl had access to food at some point, but Ormsby said she was also placed in DCFS' custody.
Drug and child neglect charges are pending against the ¿mother who this paper is not naming in order to protect her children's identity.
"It's a sad situation," Ormsby said Thursday. "Thankfully they were all found in time."
Anyone with information about this incident can call police at 510-293-7000 or at the anonymous tip line at 510-293-7197.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.