Mother charged after 2 children die in small closet

A WOMAN charged in the deaths of two of her children allegedly locked them and three other siblings inside a small closet and left to visit a friend, returning about 10 hours later to find the boy and girl dead inside.

Indianapolis police said Edyan Farah, 28, told officers she “was not in her right mind” when she allegedly put her five children in an upstairs closet and placed a large bed in front of the door so they couldn’t get out.

Police said the closet was about 6 feet long and 18 inches deep.

Farah, an immigrant from Somalia, found her 5-year-old daughter, Zuhur, and 3-year-old son, Zakariya, “stiff and unresponsive” when she returned home and opened the closet. She told officers she then carried them downstairs, but did not call 911 or try to revive them.

Lt Jeff Duhamell said the three surviving children – a 7-year-old girl and boys ages 5 and 1 – are now in foster care.

“It’s just a very, very sad case,” he said. “It’s one of the worst ones I’ve seen – to be placed in closet approximately 18 inches by 6 feet and a bed pushed up against it for a minimum of 10 hours. We think possibly a lot longer and probably not for the first time.”

Farah has been charged with two preliminary counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. She remained jailed at the Marion County Jail on a $200,000 bond. Susan Decker, a spokeswoman for the county prosecutor’s office, said the office had no comment on the case, adding that “everything is still under investigation at this point”.

An autopsy performed did not show how the boy and girl died and toxicology results that could reveal that would take three to four weeks, said chief deputy coroner Alfarena Ballew.

Police and neighbours said the siblings appeared malnourished, but Ballew said that while the two children’s bodies were thin, she did not consider them to be emaciated or malnourished.

Authorities were called to the two-story apartment at Manchester Village Apartments about four hours after Farah said she returned and found the two bodies.


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