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Firefighters Discover Two Dead Children After Suspicious Fire

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jun 22, 2004 7:51PM

Teddy Bears; Photo: Chicago TribuneAnother incredibly sad story about the tragic death of Chicago children surfaced yesterday. Sandra and Isaac Younan, 4 and 2, were found dead in a bathtub in their home on the Northwest Side Monday after firefighters extinguished a suspicious kitchen fire. Police are investigating their deaths; their mother, Abby, is in police custody although she has not been charged. Investigators called the fire "minor" and the Sun-Times reported that "Investigators found cans of aerosol spray, and it appeared the cans were put into the microwave oven and then the oven was turned on." The children's deaths were unrelated to the fire.

The children's mother, who isn't identified by her full name as far as Chicagoist can tell, was investigated last year by the Department of Children and Family Services after a trip to Chicago. While here, Sandra was discovered to have a burn on her arm, and neither child was dressed appropriately for the cold, according to reports. The mother and her children returned to Arizona a few months later, where DCFS maintained contact with the family. They moved to Chicago about three months ago, but Chicago welfare officials had stopped keeping track of them.

Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy criticized DCFS's handling of the case. "You've got to be very careful when mentally ill people without a support system are taking care of young kids. It's clear that the kids were in danger.... She can take care of her kids? If you're DCFS you say yes, but if you're normal, you might have second thoughts."