Mother, accused of abandoning 4 children, jailed Baltimore woman held in lieu of $100,000 bail

July 15, 1992|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,Staff Writer

A 23-year-old mother accused of abandoning her four children in a dilapidated East Baltimore rowhouse was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail after an anonymous tip led to her arrest, city police reported.

Janet Moore of the 1300 block of Wilcox St. was apprehended Monday at the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse at 100 N. Calvert St., but the arrest was not reported until yesterday.

On Monday, Ms. Moore was jailed on an outstanding warrant for failure to obey a court order stemming from a previous case and her bail was set at $3,500.

Yesterday afternoon, she appeared before a court commissioner and her bail was set at $100,000 for four counts of child abuse.

After yesterday's bail hearing, Ms. Moore wept as she was led back to a temporary detention area at the Northeastern District.

She and other female inmates were transferred to the Northeastern District after the air conditioning failed at the Central District's women's detention center.

At 5 a.m. Saturday, police went to Ms. Moore's house and found three hungry, partially clothed children, whose ages are 7 months and 2 and 3 years.

A fourth child, who is 5 years old, had gone to a neighbor's house and begged for food, and the neighbor contacted police.

Officers found the children alone in the unlocked house located in a run-down block near the Green Mount Cemetery.

The house was filthy -- feces lay on the bathroom floor and in an unflushed toilet. Half of the ceiling had fallen down in the kitchen and chicken wire had been fastened across the windows in place of window screens.

Officers took the hungry children to the Eastern District and fed them pizzas, said Sgt. Richard Price. Afterward, the children were taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital where they were examined and released.

Yesterday, the Department of Social Services placed the children in the custody of Ms. Moore's aunt, Susie Ross, according to Loudelle Moore, Ms. Moore's mother.

Janet Moore dropped out of Dunbar Middle School in the ninth grade, her mother said. Janet Moore had been "through a streak of bad luck" since her father died of a heart attack in 1985, said, Tina Moore, 26, the jailed woman's sister.

The father of three of Janet Moore's children is serving a prison term for attacking her with a "sharp object" and he once hit her in the head with a frying pan, Tina Moore said.

To seek refuge from the abusive relationship, Janet Moore once went to the House of Ruth, a shelter for battered women, Tina Moore said. Ms. Moore did not work and received $377 per month in welfare, her sister said.

Loudelle Moore said she did not know why her daughter left the children alone. But she said her daughter was distraught because her landlord took action to evict her for failing to pay May's rent, $295.

On Monday, the landlord's firm, A Management Corp., executed the eviction order.

"She was upset since she didn't have the rent money," said Loudelle Moore. "The landlord came and told her she was going to get evicted as soon as possible. She asked me if I had the money and I didn't have it. I have to pay rent myself.

"There was no milk, no food and no Pampers. She was upset because the kids were hungry."

Jim David, of the eviction protection unit of Rent Court, said Ms. Moore was referred to the Department of Social Services on June 5 for emergency public assistance.

The referral was made after an eviction hearing in District Court.

Ms. Moore's landlord, R. William Connolly Jr., yesterday refused to comment on the eviction.

Mr. Connolly was cited one month ago for numerous housing violations at Ms. Moore's address, said William Toohey, a spokesman for the city Housing Department.

The violations included rat infestation, a defective roof, defective electrical fixtures, chipped plaster in the dining room and bedrooms and a hole in the kitchen floor.

The city set a July 13 deadline for Mr. Connolly to repair the violations, Mr. Toohey said.

Mr. Toohey said that Mr. Connolly owns more than 600 properties in the city and last month, 254 of those properties were either vacant houses with notices to repair or had outstanding violations.

Between 1980 and 1989, Mr. Connolly was convicted 18 times in housing court for violations, Mr. Toohey said.

In 1985, Mr. Connolly was sued by Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs for failure to return security deposits and for failing to repair dilapidated rental properties. He settled the suit by agreeing to fix his properties, Mr. Toohey said.

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