A Provo, Utah woman has been arrested after two of her children were found in a dumpster Tuesday.
Provo police were contacted Tuesday after a concerned woman removed two young children, aged 2 and 3, from a dumpster at the Boulders Apartment Complex.
There is no evidence that Stephania Chavez, the mother of the children, placed them in the dumpster, according to Sgt. Brandon Post with the Provo Police Department.
He said the woman who called police said the 3-year-old girl was in the Dumpster and trying to pull the 2-year-old boy up with her.
"I looked over here and see the little girl on top of the garbage, and I seen the little boy just in his diaper climbing up here," Nacole Eaton said.
Eaton said she asked the 3-year-old girl what she and her brother were doing, and her response left Eaton in tears.
"She said she was hungry, she was trying to find something to eat," Eaton said.
She recognized the children and took them home, but no one would answer the door.
She called police.
Police attempted to contact Chavez, 21, by knocking on her apartment door and calling her multiple times.
After being informed by neighbors that Chavez had two other children in the apartment, at least one of which could be heard crying, police determined they needed to enter the apartment to check on the welfare of the children.
Officers got a key to the apartment from management, but as they opened the door, Chavez let them in, where they found an apartment littered with dirty diapers and empty beer cans, according to Post.
The children had no immediate medical concerns.
The Division of Child and Family Services took custody of all four children: the 2- and 3-year-olds and two 8-month-olds.
Cases like this are disheartening for Jillian Weiser, who works at a place where young mothers like Chavez can go for help.
"We're very geared to dealing with families who just don't know what else to do," Weiser said. "They can come here if they are that far at their wit's end, like this mom was, to come here instead to seek out help in a safe way."
Meanwhile, Eaton is relieved these children will be better taken care of, and she hopes they never have to be on their own like that again.
"I'm glad the kids are OK," she said. "The cop called me and told me thanks for my help, and it made me feel good I was able to help two little kids that deserve it."
Chavez was booked into the Utah County Jail on two counts of child abuse and neglect.