Tribune photo illustration

Tribune photo illustration (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)

A Chicago police officer trying to serve a woman a summons found her three children left alone this morning in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the South Side.

It happened about 10 a.m. at a home in the 4500 block of South Wood Street when the officer was attempting to serve the summons to a 28-year-old woman who had not completed community service,  according to Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

When a 4-year-old girl answered the door, the officer asked where her parents were. He learned the father was at work and her mother, the 28-year-old, had gone to the store to buy chips, Mirabelli said.

The officer went inside and saw her 1-year-old brother sleeping; he had a black eye and a bruised cheek, the officer said.

The girl and another brother, a 3-year-old boy, had been watching television and did not have any apparent physical injuries, said the officer. It was not known how long they were by themselves.

"They were left without supervision," Mirabelli said.

Mirabelli said the apartment was in "disarray," with no refrigerator and clothing piled up everywhere. The officer also found an exposed electrical cord in the kitchen area.

All three children were taken to be checked out at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was contacted, Mirabelli said.

The officer learned there are five more children who live there but they were at school.

No charges have been filed and Mirabelli said authorities had not yet located the mother or father.

rsobol@tribune.com

Twitter: @RosemarySobol1