Updated: Monday, 27 Sep 2010, 2:04 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 21 Sep 2010, 1:43 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Shocking new details emerged Tuesday. Just a day after a mother was jailed on charges she neglected her children, causing their death.
24-Hour News 8 obtained the police report where Edyan Farah tells police officers she locked her five children in a bedroom closet measuring 6 feet by 2 feet, at 6 a.m. and did not feed them. In the report, Farah tells police she was "not in her right mind" when she pushed a large bed against the closet door, locking the children inside. She then told investigators she left the children inside and went to a friend's house.
Farah told police she returned home around 4:20 p.m. to find two Zakariya, 3, and Zuhar, 5. collapsed in the closet, not breathing. IMPD Sergeant Paul Thompson says it's possible the children--all described by police as severely malnourished--collapsed from exhaustion, and were no longer able to breathe normally through their lungs.
"It could be a case of positional asphyxiation, but until the Coroner's report comes back, we won't know for sure," said Thompson.
Toxicology test results on Zakariya and Zuhar Farah are expected back in about three weeks.
Farah remains in the Marion County Jail on a $200,000 bond. She is scheduled to make an initial court appearance Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, a makeshift memorial continues to grow outside the Farah's home, as neighbors and friends try to make sense of the situation.
"I just can't imagine a mother doing something like that to her children," said Sandy Tingle, a nearby neighbor.
Tingle, and many others living nearby say they heard the children crying and screaming from the home's small, fenced in back patio on a regular basis.
"I would hear the older girl say--no, no no," said Tingle. "But, I thought she was maybe just fighting with her sister, you know? Maybe they were arguing?"
"Every morning, [they were in the backyard]. They woke me up. They was hollering, screaming, crying, and most of the time wanting back in the house, because it's on the west side and it's all sun by the afternoon," said Helen Safewright, another nearby neighbor. "I don't like to mettle in anybody else's business. I try to mind my own, but...everybody knew about it."
It appears everyone else minded their own business too.
And, experts say that's all too common.
"Oftentimes, folks are unaware of the phone numbers to call, or for whatever reason, are concerned about possible actions that may occur as a result of a phone call. We would rather go to a home and assess the situation and determine child abuse and neglect did not occur, rather than to find out that there are tragic circumstances on the other side," said Indiana Department of Child Services Communications Director Ann Houseworth.
If you see what you think is child abuse or neglect, call the state's hotline at 1-800-800-5556. You can remain anonymous.