A 23-year-old mother of four was being held today on $3,500 bail and charged with four counts of child abuse after she allegedly abandoned her children in a filthy and dilapidated rowhouse Saturday.
Acting on an anonymous tip, police arrested Janet Moore, of the 1300 block of Wilcox St., at 2:45 p.m. yesterday at the Mitchell Courthouse on Calvert Street.
Ms. Moore was there awaiting a hearing on placement of her children by the Department of Social Services, police said. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging disorderly conduct. She is charged with child abuse in another warrant, police said.
She was being held at the Northeastern District jail today, where the Women's Detention Center was moved temporarily because of air-conditioning problems at the Central District.
Ms. Moore left her four children, ages 7 months to 5 years old, alone in the house just after midnight Saturday, police said.
The three boys and a girl were discovered by a neighbor at 5 a.m. Saturday after the 5-year-old child walked across the street and knocked on the neighbor's door seeking doughnuts and other food.
Police were called and found the house unlocked. Inside, officers discovered the partially clothed, hungry children. Half-cooked hamburger patties were in a skillet on the stove top, the police report said.
The infant was found in a cradle. The 2-year-old toddler was on a mattress on the first floor. The other child was sitting on a step.
The three-bedroom rowhouse, three blocks east of Greenmount Ave. near the Green Mount Cemetery, was described by police as having "very unsanitary living conditions."
Ms. Moore's landlord evicted her and her children yesterday morning for failure to pay back rent of $360.
The children are in the custody of Ms. Moore's mother, who lives in West Baltimore.
Police took the children Saturday morning to the Eastern District police station and fed them pizzas.
Tina Moore, Janet Moore's sister, said Janet Moore disappeared. Police said she was at the court building in the 100 block of N. Calvert St. when an anonymous caller reported seeing her.