Mother does not attend Tuesday hearing

Three young children found in a Southeast Portland shed will remain in foster care, a Multnomah County juvenile judicial referee ruled Tuesday.

The children are not staying in the same foster home, however. The youngest needs medical care and is underweight, according to state child welfare workers with the Department of Human Services (DHS).

The children were discovered Thursday morning inside a shed behind an empty rental home in the 7900 block of Southeast Rhine Street. Portland police were able to contact the mother on Friday after receiving a tip. Her name has not been disclosed.

Sergeant Pete Simpson, spokesperson for Portland police, said a criminal investigation into the mother is underway.

She was not present at Tuesday's hearing in juvenile court. DHS workers say she is homeless, and attempts to reach her at a day shelter where she has been staying were unsuccessful.

The children and mother have been in Oregon since February, DHS said. The mother had reportedly received help to leave Florida after a domestic-violence situation there.

KOIN Local 6 contributed to this story.

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