Woman says children living in poor conditions spurred her to post to social media

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — A woman who lives in New Kensington said she was fed up with the conditions she sees her neighbors’ children living in.

Zoe Payne said she had no choice but to capture what she believes is neglect.

“My neighbor just lets them on the roof. She lets them crawl out the window,” Payne said.

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There are multiple pictures that show the children doing just that.

There are also pictures that show what appear to be bruises on a thin little boy.

“The older little boy, he has some obvious bruises and scars, “Payne said. “They come over here asking for food, telling me they are hungry.”

Payne said she’s tried to talk to the mother.

“I will tell her, ‘Your kids are outside running around.’ I’ll bring them back, and she doesn’t care. She just says, ‘OK,’ and that wasn’t getting anywhere,” Payne said.

We tried reaching the mother tonight. We knocked on her door. It was slightly propped open, but no one answered.

“I feel like she’s overwhelmed. I feel like she’s overworked, and I feel like she needs help,” Payne said.

Payne said she’s tried to get help for the past six months.

She said she sent these pictures of the children to Child & Youth Services.

She said police come out when she calls but always end up leaving with no solution.

“I probably made about five police calls and at least a dozen CYS calls,” Payne said.

Payne took her efforts further by posting these pictures on social media, begging for help.

Police responded, as well as CYS.

And now, Payne said the children are with their fathers.

“The day I made the post was Friday. They were removed shortly after the post,” Payne said. “The four children have been taken away, to my understanding.”

Channel 11 contacted police twice.

Both times we were told the chief is the only person who can provide information, and he wasn’t in.

We also contacted CYS in Westmoreland County. We were told the person we needed to speak with left for the day, so we left a message.

We are still waiting to hear back.

“I just want you guys to do your job. I just don’t want you to fail these children. There have been too many situations in New Kensington where I see children neglected and abused,” Payne said.