Officials seeking protective custody of starving toddlers

Published 7:26 am Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ELK RIVER — A man is accused of routinely leaving his young sons for long stretches of time in a filthy home near Princeton.

Thirty-two-year-old Michael Gunderson is charged with two counts of felony child neglect and one count of felony drug possession in Sherburne County.

Authorities say the children, ages 2 and 3, were found severely malnourished at a Baldwin Township home while in Gunderson’s care. The Star Tribune reports officials have declined to comment on the boys’ conditions since they were taken to a hospital.

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A court petition seeking to place the brothers in protective care says Gunderson often locked them in a bedroom for more than 12 hours at a time. It says Gunderson once left the boys for two to three days to attend a funeral in Wisconsin.

Online court documents don’t list an attorney for Gunderson.