Kids killed in West Allis fire locked in bedroom

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Kids killed in West Allis fire locked in bedroom

By Jaclyn Brandt. CREATED Apr 16, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr 16, 2013

WEST ALLIS - The woman whose three children died in a house fire has been charged with locking them in a bedroom while she went to work.

According to the criminal complaint, Angelica Belen arrived to her home after a fire on April 11, 2013, asking where her children were and saying her sister was supposed to be babysitting. The sister said she was not supposed to be babysitting, and Belen admitted she left her twin four-year-old boys and five-year-old girl home while she went to work for three hours.

"Angelica Belen stated that April 11, 2013, was her first day of work, and she could not find a babysitter," the criminal complaint said.

The children were locked in their bedroom, the door dead bolted shut from the outside. They were found huddled together under a dresser.

Alexis Colin, 4, Adrian, 4 and Nayeli, 5, all died in the fire.

Belen's estranged husband said he was stunned to hear that Belen had locked their children away. However, neighbors are angry and in tears because of the new information in the criminal complaint.

Belen has been charged with three counts of Child Neglect Resulting in Death. If convicted, Belen could be fined up to $300,000 and spend up to 75 years in prison.

Belen has been charged with child neglect in the past. In February, a child welfare worker observed her arriving home with her Nayeli. But when she entered her home, she found that the four-year-old twins and one-year-old baby had been left home alone. In March, someone called police after Belen left her children in a car while she went shopping. The twins reportedly left the car and were playing in the parking lot.

A child welfare worker then went back to the home, where she found "urine and feces throughout the house." A "non emergency child in need of protective services" was issued at that time, but the children were allowed to stay with their mother.

Keller Russell contributed to this report.