The home was unlocked and the children were alone inside, Jordan said. One child was picking at some food on the coffee table — baked potatoes and buffalo wings — that the flies were eating, too. "You could tell it was a few weeks old," Jordan said. "It was nasty."
The children didn't look well. All were underweight, and the youngest, a girl close to 2 years old, looked emaciated, she said.
CPS workers took the children to a hospital to be evaluated, including the 7-year-old, whom they picked up from school, then spent much of the day trying to contact the children's parents. Sheriff's detectives are also investigating but have not said whether they will file charges.
Neighbors said Tuesday they have often seen the children roaming the apartment grounds unsupervised, wearing ragged, dirty clothing and begging for food.
Jordan persuaded the children's father, 35-year-old Corey Burist, to meet with her Tuesday afternoon in the leasing office. Burist, wearing jeans and an Armani T-shirt, carrying a large soft drink from Sonic, said he no longer lives with the children's mother, although he visits almost daily and pays the bills on the apartment he has been renting for a year.
He told Jordan he had visited the children Monday night.
"I bathed them, I changed them, I fed them," he said. "I play Mr. Mom."
He noticed that the apartment was dirty, he said, and when his ex-girlfriend came home, he asked her to clean it. When he left around midnight, he said, the children were in her care.