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Crime & Courts

New Jersey family allegedly lived in closet-sized storage facility for up to five months

A homeless New Jersey family was found this week living in a walk-in closet-sized self-storage facility locker – and had apparently been residing there for as many as five months, according to authorities and witness accounts.

Sheena Johnson, 27, was booked on two counts of second-degree child endangerment Friday following a police officer’s discovery that she and her two young sons, ages five and 10, were residing in a cut-rate locker at Extra Space Storage in Mercer County’s Ewing Township, according to published reports.

“That’s where their house is. That’s where they’re living,” Trenton Lt. Mark Kieffer told The Trenton Times. “It was just filthy in there.”

The two boys were found to be dirty and hungry, according to police, but otherwise healthy and unharmed.

A Trenton police officer reportedly made the grim find Thursday after arresting Johnson for slashing her boyfriend’s tires.

When he inquired whether she had any dependents, Johnson mumbled something about two kids waiting at a bus stop, near the storage facility. The officer then drove to the facility.

A 5-by-10 unit similar to the one the children were in rents for $55 to $67 a month, according to the facility’s website

Champ Bell, another Extra Space Storage renter, said he thought a family had been living in a unit for at least five months, adding that he had seen an adult bring a boy who looked to be about 3 years old into the facility and not leave.

“I’ve been seeing them for months,” Bell told The Trenton Times.

Johnson was being held in lieu of $75,000 bond, and her two children were taken into the custody of the state, officials reportedly said.

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