Police warned before 2 children found alone in Charlotte, woman says

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A woman who knew and had cared for two small children left outside police offices in Charlotte last week said she had tried to warn police and social workers that their mother would do something like that or worse, but her warning did not change anything.

Haley Thrift spoke only to Channel 9’s Mark Becker saying she had seen signs that her boyfriend’s sister, 19-year-old Nazarene Porter, was cracking under the pressure of being a single parent.

She said she had talked about leaving her children at a police station, and that the children’s father had even talked of “throwing them in a dumpster.”

Thrift said she took the infant, the little boy she calls “X” to a police office on Wendover Road on May 3, and spent five hours trying to convince police and social workers not to send him back to his mother.

“I warned them. I told them before I left the police station that day, I said, ‘Whatever you do please take the children. I know this, this is going to happen. Something's going to happen -- dead, abandoned. I don't know, but please just keep them safe,’” Thrift said she told police.

But she said an hour after she left the office, a police sergeant called to say that the Department of Social Services was placing the children back with their mother.

“I was scared. I was really scared that something was going to happen to them, (and) then I woke up to the worst news in the world,” she said.

Police had found the children alone in front of their offices.

Both children were fine, but police charged Nazarene Porter on Friday with two counts of child neglect.

The children are now in DSS custody and Eyewitness News asked DSS officials about the earlier referral, but a DSS spokesman said they could not comment.

Eyewitness News also reached Porter by telephone but she hung up.

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