Four Brooklyn Park Children in Protective Custody
Four children are out of their Brooklyn Park home and in protective custody after what began as a missing child investigation. Officials were called to a home in the 8200 block of Queen Avenue North Monday after an 11-year-old girl went missing and was later found.
On Tuesday, cleanup crews continued to remove items from inside the home. They hauled out bags and bins filled with trash. The property owner was at the house and didn’t want to talk about the case, but says he’s paying for the cleanup. A note on the front door says the home is uninhabitable.
“Officers searched the home and determined there were very concerning factors inside the home that was not fit for children to be there,” Deputy Chief Mark Bruley.
Missing Girl Search Uncovers New Problems
Police spent hours canvassing the neighborhood looking for the missing 11- year-old girl. During their search, they stumbled upon something unexpected at nearby Norwood Park.
“They located a separate 12-year-old child who had been gone for at least two days, living in that park. That child was also found to belong to this home and was placed on a hold,” explained Bruley.
After several hours, there was a break in the case. The 11-year-old girl was found in Bloomington, oddly enough by her neighbor who literally lives down the street from her in Brooklyn Park. Marilyn Harris and her husband were at a doctor’s appointment when they spotted the girl sitting on a curb.
“She knew us and she knew the jeep,” Harris said. “That’s why she came over. It was pure happenstance or pure God’s will or something that we happened to be there and someone dropped her off, and we lived on the same street.”
Marilyn asked the girl how she got so far away from home. She said “oh, my friend’s mother dropped me off.”
Court documents show police have been to the Brooklyn Park home many times, including back in February when an 8-year-old boy was found dead at the home. The children were placed in protective custody at that time, and eventually returned back to the mother. Documents also show the mother was convicted of malicious punishment of a child in 2008. She also has more than two dozen traffic violations.
The children are in protective custody, while Hennepin County Child Protection conducts an investigation. Meanwhile, the mother is in the hospital. There’s no word on why she was admitted. As for the death of the 8-year-old boy, Hennepin County officials say the investigation is ongoing.
Hennepin County Statement
It is public knowledge based on court documents and media reports that Hennepin County Child Protection was involved in the matter of the welfare of the children of Tasha Tennin. A petition in early February requested emergency protective out-of-home care of children from their Brooklyn Park home.
Child protection has acted diligently, represented by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, in doing everything possible in the matter, including providing relevant facts and findings in court petitions. This is a complex, adversarial system by design, to ensure all arguments and voices are heard. In the end, the juvenile court makes the final decision.
As noted in the May CHIPS (Child in Need of Protection or Services) filing, the county continues its efforts to protect these children.
There are tragic stories. What child protection workers see and hear day in and day out is never easy but it is the work they are committed to – to protecting our most vulnerable residents, our children.”
Homeless Youth Group Gives Perspective on Brooklyn Park Case
The story out of Brooklyn Park might sound shocking, but nonprofits who work with homeless youth say it’s a story they deal with all too often.
“For our community as a whole, we want to see people understand when you hear a story about a kid who is running, more often that not, the first thing I would think is, ‘is there something that is going on inside that home that is causing that child to feel safer on the street than they do at home,’ said Cheri Sutch,
director of Community Engagement and Giving with Anoka-based HOPE 4 Youth.
“And that’s the tragedy and that’s we see the majority of the people we serve are running from a bad situation,” she added.
HOPE 4 Youth says on any given night there are 6,000 homeless youth in Minnesota. They help youth under the age of 23 in the north metro. Sutch says many youth who wind up homeless begin that journey by running away from something bad happening at home.
“I think the majority of what happens and what we see and the biggest misconception is that runaways are rebellious kids,” said Sutch. “They are kids that are in trouble with the law and don’t want rules at home and actually that’s not the case. What we see in the majority of youth that are running from home is they are running from bad situations. They are running from toxic situations.”
HOPE 4 Youth says it wants to be on the front lines of helping youth in situations like this. You can check out HOPE 4 Youth’s website for ways to donate or get involved.