BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (KMSP) - An investigation is underway after several children were found living in unsafe conditions and one girl ran away from a home Monday in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
The case started when 11-year-old Tanaisha Tennin was reported missing by her mother in the middle of the night. She had run away from home, but was eventually found safe in Bloomington by a neighbor who happened to be in the area.
But, that was just the beginning of this tale of turmoil for several young children.
A sign on the door now declares the home uninhabitable, a day after authorities found numerous rodents and bugs inside.
The same night Tanaisha went missing, police found her 12-year-old brother sleeping in the rain on a park bench. He had been there for two days.
Another child was found at a friend’s home.
Police also found a 3-year-old child inside the home. All children are now in protective custody, away from their mother.
In June 2008, the mother was convicted of malicious punishment of a child. In 2015, Child Protective Services findings included multiple and ongoing cases of physical and sexual abuse.
In February 2018, CPS received a report of neglect and threats to the children. That month, an eight-year-old boy died in the home.
A physician looking at the medical examiner's photos of the body believes there are signs of concerning injuries, but the child’s official cause of death is undetermined.
After the death, CPS requested the children be removed from the home. A judge did not agree and determined they should stay with their mother.
Brooklyn Park police are still investigating to determine if charges should be filed in the death of that young boy.
Meanwhile, as of May 22, CPS claims the mother has not maintained contact with them, as instructed by the courts.
Court documents show child protection services has been conducting in-home services for years, and Brooklyn Park police said they work very closely with CPS.
Authorities believe the conditions of the home and the mother’s behavior has only recently and dramatically deteriorated to the point it’s at now.
Statement from Hennepin County:
“A petition in early February requested emergency protective out-of-home care of children from their Brooklyn Park home.
Child protection has acted diligently, represented by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, in doing everything possible in the matter, including providing relevant facts and findings in court petitions. This is a complex, adversarial system by design, to ensure all arguments and voices are heard. In the end, the juvenile court makes the final decision.
As noted in the May CHIPS (Child in Need of Protection or Services) filing, the county continues its efforts to protect these children. There are tragic stories. What child protection workers see and hear day in and day out is never easy but it is the work they are committed to – to protecting our most vulnerable residents, our children.”