Two young boys found abandoned in a car will remain in foster care temporarily along with their 5-month-old sister, a judge ruled.
The children are those of Blaine Danley, 33, who was found disheveled, half naked and asleep in a garage a block away from his boys early Tuesday, and of Summer Marie Faith Clyborne, 26, who appeared Wednesday at a custody hearing.
A friend said the couple had resumed using methamphetamine last spring.
"They've been back and forth in their relationships so much," said Sheila McLaughlin.
She said she had cared for the three children from Easter until about two weeks ago when Danley petitioned juvenile court for custody.
But, she said, about eight hours later, Danley called to ask her to take care of the infant, who has respiratory problems.
Danley was seeking an apartment and staying at a recovery center known as Oxford House in Salem and applying for food stamp assistance.
After they found him asleep in an SUV, police charged Danley with child neglect and burglary.
Judge Diane Rea said the children would remain in state custody until another hearing Aug. 17.
The mother said having the children in foster care would motivate her to regain them more quickly than if they were left with members of her family.
But Rea said caseworkers should try to keep the children together and place them with family members.
"It's excellent that you want to be motivated, but we cannot do it on the backs of the children to leave them in the care of the strangers," she told Clyborne.
Patricia Feeny, a spokeswoman for state Department of Human Services, said Tuesday's incident was the first time state caseworkers intervened with the children.
Family members said Clyborne has a fourth child, an 8-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, who is with her parents.
Abandoned boys to remain in foster care, with sister