GULFPORT, Fla. — Three children, ages 3, 6, and 9, were found alone in a mini-bus parked in the Gulfport Municipal Beach parking lot.
A police officer on routine patrol found the children around 4:42 a.m. Saturday. The children told the officer that their mother had left them there around 9 p.m. Friday and went out on a boat.
Marine patrol launched a boat and found the mother, Andrea Kerins, on a boat owned by Yuri Radzibaba, according to a police report.
Investigators say Kerins had been smoking marijuana and that she intended to spend the night on the boat.
Police said the children had no access to a phone.
Inside the bus, officers found a bin of perishable food that had been left unrefrigerated. There, too, was a five-gallon bucket being used as a toilet and a propane tank.
The children had no clothing other than what they were wearing.
Kerins was charged with three counts of felony child neglect.
The children were taken into custody by Florida Department of Children and Families.
The name on the bus appears to be a defunct organization with which Kerins was not affiliated, police said.
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