An 11-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother were found living in an abandoned school bus in Splendora, Texas. On Thursday, a postal worker discovered the children living in the window-blocked, trash-covered bus and called Child Protective Services.
The children, whose names have yet to be released, have been living on their own since the beginning of the year. Their parents are in federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling money from Hurrican Ike victims in 2008. Both parents are serving 18 months.
After investigating the circumstances, officials discovered an aunt of the children stays with them at night. According to reports, aunt told Montgomery County Constable Rowdy Hayden she provided meals for the children during the day when she was working.
The aunt was not the only person to know of the children’s living conditions.
From a prison phone, the children’s mother said she and her husband planned to build a house on the lot where the bus sits. One they went to jail, they told an aunt and neighbors to watch over the children and the school bus.
“[The kids] always had dirty clothes on [and] no shoes, even in winter,” explained neighbor Gayla Payne.
The children’s mom said she is hoping to regain custody of her children when she is free in 30 days.