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Wheaton mom charged with criminal neglect
By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

Arezou Khamissi


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Published: 1/25/2010 1:58 PM | Updated: 1/26/2010 10:13 AM

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A Wheaton mother faces criminal charges after police said they found her two children home alone in a roach-infested apartment without electricity.

Arezou Khamissi, 28, who appeared Monday in bond court, is charged with criminal neglect of a disabled person and endangering the life of a child. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison. Khamissi also would be eligible for probation.

Prosecutor Mary K. Cronin said two of Khamissi's neighbors called police before 2 a.m. Sunday to the apartment complex on the 1300 block of North Main Street to check on a crying child.

Police said they did not find an adult present in the apartment, which did not have working electricity and was infested with roaches. They transported the two young girls, ages 8 and 16 months, to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. The older child is developmentally disabled.

The girls were not physically injured. Both were placed in protective state custody afterward, officials said.

Khamissi was arrested after she returned to the apartment about one hour after police arrived, Cronin said.

"The mom said she was gone only 20 minutes, but the police investigation revealed the children were alone at least two hours," Cronin said.

Khamissi is divorced. She was granted sole custody of the former couple's three children in a Dec. 23, 2009 court order in which the mother was deemed the "fit and proper person."

The third child - a 7-year-old son - was not in the apartment at the time of the weekend arrest. In a Nov. 26 filing, Khamissi said she runs a child care business out of the apartment. Her ex-husband listed himself as unemployed.

In court Monday, Khamissi said she is a student studying computer training. DuPage Associate Judge Liam Brennan set bond Monday at $30,000, meaning Khamissi must post the required 10 percent to be set free.

Khamissi does not have a criminal record. She remained in custody late Monday.