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Losing It All
June 23, 2011 permalink
Two Oregon boys lost their parents when social workers made them leave home with only their belongings stuffed in trash bags. They lost their belongings soon after when cleaners tossed out the trash bags.
Reedsport boys lose all their belongings at welfare office
Two Reedsport boys placed in foster care in early June lost all of their possessions from the Reedsport Child Welfare Office, and police are trying to get them back.
The property -- including clothing, toys, books, keepsakes and medical supplies -- was removed from the office by someone who claimed to believe the items were garbage and placed by an outdoor trash bin.
Police are seeking community members who may have picked up some of the items, believing them to be trash, in hopes of reuniting the boys with their possessions.
'We made it a priority to get these kids' property back to them," said Chief Mark Fandrey. He has already found some of the property.
A few items were picked up by community members who live in a nearby apartment complex. Each was eager to return the lost property, Fandrey said.
Fandrey hopes more people who spotted the loot by the trash will come forward.
Michelle Bellah, with the Child Welfare Office, said the boys are resilient, but losing all their possessions, after being removed from an unsafe home, is a mean blow.
'Their memories are gone," Bellah said. 'Talk about adding insult to injury, or kicking someone when they're down. But we're very hopeful and optimistic we'll get their stuff back."
Anyone who might know the whereabouts of the boys' lost items is encouraged to call Chief Fandrey at 541-271-2100.
The case is still under investigation.
Reporter Jessie Higgins can be reached at 541-269-1222 ext. 240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Coos Bay World
Addendum: Janitor arrested.
Police make arrest, find boys' property
REEDSPORT -- Police believe the woman who threw away items from the child welfare office June 11, intended to steal them.
Police arrested Janice Irene Emerson, 55, on charges of theft and criminal mischief.
The property belonged to two boys who had just been placed in foster care.
'We made it a priority to get these kids' property back to them," Chief Mark Fandrey said June 22.
But police were also trying to figure out how the oversight happened.
Emerson, who works as a janitor at the DHS office, claimed she believed the property was trash, so she placed it next to an outdoor trash bin.
However, she kept some of the nicer items, Fandrey said.
Fandrey's main concern is still finding the boys' missing property. He believes local resident may have taken some of the items from alongside the trash bin, obviously believing them to be up for grabs.
Police located several items in a nearby apartment complex.
The residents 'saw the property next to the DHS dumpster and thought it was abandoned as garbage," according to a press release. 'The residents eagerly returned the property to police."
Fandrey hopes more people come forward with the boy's belongings. All together, roughly $1,200 worth of property is still missing.
Source: Coos Bay World