ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - Will there be charges? That's the question that remains as the Division of Family Services investigates a home that's now locked up by St. Louis County officials for having unlivable conditions. That was their discovery after two toddlers staying inside wandered off early Wednesday morning.
In regard to those children - one and three years old - found in a driveway in the cold, police say, it was just an accident. They likely let themselves out of the house while the adults were sleeping.
But it was thanks to an alert Post-Dispatch carrier, who has been on the same route along Fee Fee Road for 15 years, that those kids were stopped before stepping out into traffic in the dark morning hours somewhere between four and five.
When no one answered the door, Brandon Mueller, 30, called 911.
While EMS took the kids to be checked out at an area hospital - fortunately, they're doing fine - police went inside and the Department of Public Works ended up closing the place for not having a working furnace, a gas line leak, a collapsing bathroom ceiling, roach infestation and breaking code by turning open living spaces into bedrooms for the 12 to 15 people living there, many of them children.
No matter the outcome of that investigation, Mueller is just glad the two kids he found are okay.
"I got called a hero a couple times today," he explained. "Just want to be a human being like anybody else, so I did the best I could and everything I get trained to do with my other job, everything kicked in, instinct kicked in."
Mueller is a security officer at an area mall.
The toddlers' father tells NewsChannel 5 that he and his wife bring the kids to that home, which is where his brother lives, when they work overnight. He was panicked when he got the call from police, and thinks the children may have followed him out the door.
DFS continues the investigation of the home. No charges have been filed.