Two young children, who are only 2 and 3, are in the hospital following a heartbreaking situation out of Baldwin Township. The two young children were found by themselves in a crib, clearly starving to death, and their rib cages were protruding out due to malnourishment. There was also a strong smell which can be attributed to dog feces, and there was also a ton of marijuana baggies found in the home scattered on the floor.
The children were in the care of their father, Michael S. Gunderson, who was just charged with two counts of felony child neglect and also drug possession. This happened at the 32-year-old man’s residence and he is currently at the Sherburne County jail being held on $40,000 bail. The mother of the two children has not been around for two months, but when she returned, she noticed how thing they were and also noticed neither child was strong enough to walk or even crawl. The mother also saw one of the two children trying to eat the dog feces from the area, although the mother maintains she was never there and had lost her job in November, which is why she was in Utah working for the past two months.
The children also had bed sores on their bodies, which indicates they were in that crib for a long time without proper care or nourishment. Fairview Northland Medical Center is who contacted police after seeing the children, who were taken there by the mother after coming home and seeing the children, but the father was not even home at the time. The home and the crib had a strong smell of feces and urine, which might also have contributed to the bed sores. The medical personnel said both children were starving and were immediately given fluids to try to get them hydrated again, and they were still in the hospital as of Monday night.
The father claims that he had no one to care for the children while he was out working 12-hour shifts, especially since the mother had left to Utah, and his home did not have full electricity. The father did say he noted the children had lost weight, but that was just due to them not eating very much, and there was nothing neglectful about that. The cops decided to search the home and that is when they discovered the weed, with baggies of weed just thrown all around the home. There was also a lot of garbage inside of the home and the cops said the living conditions were absolutely filthy. The father has been previously convicted on drug possession twice within the state of Minnesota, and also was convicted of careless driving in 2003.
At this point, it’s unclear who the children will end up living with while this case proceeds in the court system, but right now they will be in the hospital recovering from severe starvation. The mother is still cooperating with the police at this time.