Police say 26 year old Bobbi Jo Schantz admitted to the neglect. A court document says Schantz told police that she did leaver her son at home locked in his bedroom “not more than five times.”
It happened in a quiet neighborhood off 1700 South and Sky View Drive in Sandy is home to several families including a mother and son. We knocked on 26 year old Bobbi Jo Schantz’s front door, but no one answered.
“I’ve seen the little boy walking in front one or two times,” said a neighbor who declined to give her name.
Many of the neighbors we spoke to declined to speak on camera. But they told us they were surprised to hear about the allegations against Schantz.
“For the most part I'd say it's pretty quiet,” said another neighbor who wished to remain anonymous.
Police say it was neighbors who alerted them to the alleged neglect.
“Locking the door and leaving a port-o-potty in there and going to work. It was for the cries of the kid that the neighbors heard the cries of this kid and contacted law enforcement and found this child left inside,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
Pediatrician Dr. Antoinette Laskey says, “a four-year-old is not capable developmentally to safely care for themselves…respond to emergencies or access food and water..”
That’s why Gill says these cases are so tragic.
“We as a society say these parents need to be held accountable because the risks are so tragic when you are not paying attention,” said Gill.
Again, Schantz faces five third degree felonies. District Attorney Gill says there are plenty of programs that can help with parenting skills. But in this situation, Schantz is being prosecuted.