A Wheeling woman was arrested on Monday and faces charges of child neglect with risk of serious injury after police responded to a 911 call at the Eagle Court Apartments.
At 3:32 a.m., police were dispatched to the apartment complex after a 911 caller said they heard "banging on the walls" in one apartment. The caller also stated the children in the apartment were frequently left alone. Upon arrival police were unable to contact anyone inside the apartment and spoke with a neighbor who also heard the noises described by the 911 caller. The neighbor also reportedly said the children in the apartment were frequently left alone.
Due to the possibility of abandoned children possibly being inside the apartment, Wheeling Police forced entry into the apartment assisted by the Wheeling Fire Department. Once inside, police located a 4-year-old girl on the living room couch and a 2-year-old girl in a bedroom. The 2-year-old was reportedly banging her head on the door of the room, creating the noise heard by officers and neighbors. While checking the rest of the apartment officers noted a large butcher knife in another bedroom which was reportedly in the reach of children.
Officers could not locate any parent or guardian but were able to contact the grandfather of the children, who came to the scene. The grandfather reportedly identified the mother of the children as his daughter, Heather Renee Schaffer. The grandfather told police the same situation had occurred two months ago and was investigated by Child Protective Services.
At approximately 5 a.m., Schaffer returned home and stated she had fallen asleep in a downstairs apartment. She was placed under arrest and charged with child neglect with the risk of injury. Schaffer reportedly told police she had left the apartment at 3 a.m.