Mother Left Babies Alone For Hours, Police Say
Wayne woman charged with child endangerment after 8-month-olds found in home, soiled.
A pregnant Wayne woman has been charged with child endangerment after police found her 8-month-old children alone inside a house Friday night, police said.
Dolly Santiago, 29, was charged after police found her two children alone inside a Cayuga Trail home at about 5:15 p.m. Friday, Det./Capt. James Clarke said.
Santiago’s grandmother notified police from the residence that she had not heard from Santiago since Thursday, Clarke said. She and police tried to gain entry to the house, which was locked, police said.
Police heard a baby crying when they were on a deck on the back of the house and forced themselves into the residence, Clarke said, and smelled a strong odor of “urine and feces” upon entering.
Officers found an 8-month-old baby boy and girl soiled in a crib and a bassinet in a bedroom, Clarke said.
The infants were taken to Chilton Memorial Hospital in Pequannock, Clarke said, and are now in the care of a relative.
A missing person's report was issued for Santiago on Friday, saying she was last seen walking away from her house at approximately 6 p.m. on Thursday by a neighbor.
The state Division of Child Protection and Permanency was notified, the missing person’s report and police said.
Clarke said the children had been alone in the house “certainly for hours.”
Relatives on Thursday told police that Santiago has a history of drug abuse and prostitution, Clarke said.
Police said relatives spoke to Santiago’s live-in boyfriend, who was in Florida, on Friday to see if he knew where she was. He was unable to contact Santiago by phone, police said.
Santiago returned to the residence at 9:50 p.m. on Sunday when she was charged with child endangerment, Clarke said.
Clarke said he did not know if Santiago has any prior charges filed against her out of Wayne.
Municipal court Judge Peter Weiss set bail at $100,000 with no 10 percent option.
Santiago is currently being held in the Passaic County Jail, Clarke said.