Surviving child says mom often kept kids in closet

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis mother has been charged with eight counts of neglect and confinement as authorities say she barricaded four of her five children in a dark, hot closet where two of them died Sunday.

A Marion County judge issued a preliminary plea of not guilty for Ebyan Farah during a hearing Thursday. Defense lawyers for Farah requested a gag order for the case and want private autopsies on the children, ages 3 and 5.

A surviving 7-year-old girl said in a court affidavit that four children were barricaded without food or water and that the children slept. She told a child interviewer that when she realized her brother and sister had died she called for her mother, who opened the door.

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