PROVO -- After a resident noticed a 3-year-old child pulling a 2-year-old child into a Dumpster on Tuesday, police showed up and discovered the children were scavenging for food.
The two children were discovered in a Dumpster at The Boulders apartments, located at 750 S. 650 West in Provo. According to Provo Sgt. Brandon Post, police at the scene soon attempted to contact their mother, who lives at the complex. Post said the officers repeatedly called the mother on her cell phone and knocked on the door of her apartment but she never responded.
Neighbors also said two more children were inside the apartment and the officers could hearing crying from inside.
As a result, the officers decided to perform a welfare check on the children. They obtained a key from the apartment manager and as the door swung open 21-year-old Stephania Chavez met the officers in an "unkempt" room strewn with dirty diapers and empty beer cans. The officers found two 8-month-old children amidst the squalor.
Chavez was arrested on two counts of child abuse and neglect and the children were taken into custody by the Division of Child and Family Services. According to Post, the children were dirty but not suffering from any apparent medical conditions.
"The children weren't taken to a hospital," he added.
Post said it was Chavez's first booking into the Utah County Jail. He added that the children's father is incarcerated.