Portage mother accused of leaving kids home alone without water, heat

PORTAGE, Ind. (WLS) -- A Portage, Indiana, mother is accused of leaving her children alone in a mobile home without water or a working furnace.

Thanh Nguyen is charged with neglect of a dependent and drug possession. Her children are 16, 11, and 10.

Police charging documents alleged Nguyen left her children alone for extended periods of time in the mobile home, "depriving them of a working furnace, running water and usable bathroom facilities."

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Police said they were called to Portage High School West after the eldest child told a staff member they were looking for someone to help them fix a broken water pipe at no charge. Police said the teenager then told staff member about the lack of heat and running water, and that the pipes had been broken for nearly the week, and that they were keeping the mobile home warm with three space heaters and at times the oven turned on with the door open.

One of the children told police their mother is "gone for months at a time," according to the police report.
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