A Bellevue father has been charged in the deaths of his two children, whose bodies were found in his home Sunday.
Adam L. Price, 35, faces two felony charges of child abuse resulting in death, according to Chief Deputy Sarpy County Attorney Bonnie Moore. Each felony carries a penalty ranging from no time in prison up to 20 years, she said.
Emily, “Emi,” was 5, and Theodore, “Teddy,” was 3.
According to the felony charges, Price did “negligently cause or permit a minor child ... to be placed in a situation ... resulting in the death of said child.” No additional charges were planned “as of this time,” she said Monday.
Moore said she could not elaborate on what is known about the case, including when the children may have died and their cause of death.
Bellevue police did not provide additional details.
Autopsies were performed Monday, and the results are pending, Moore said.
Price was arrested Sunday in Pacifica, California, a beachfront community south of San Francisco. He is being held by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department at the Magiure Correctional Facility and has an extradition hearing Tuesday.
A friend of the children’s mother found the children dead in the home at 2716 Alberta Ave. at about 11 a.m. Sunday. The mother, Mary Nielsen, had enlisted the friend’s help to check on their well-being after Bellevue police were unsuccessful in doing so.
The parents were in the midst of divorce proceedings, and the father was under court order to provide daily contact between the mother and children during their visits to his home, Nielsen has said.
Nielsen, who lives in Illinois, said she talked with the children Thursday night but was unable to reach them Friday and Saturday nights. She called Bellevue police Saturday night asking that they check on the children. Officers went to the home Saturday night and Sunday morning, but didn’t see anything suspicious and didn’t attempt to force entry, according to Capt. Andy Jashinske, Bellevue police spokesman. Officers did not talk with the father.
After receiving criticism by some on social media for leaving her marriage, Nielsen detailed on Facebook alleged abuse by her husband.
“He was very abusive, controlling and manipulative toward me,” she told The World-Herald. “He found the ultimate way to hurt me.”
Jashinske said Bellevue police didn’t enter the home because there was no indication of imminent danger and the Constitution protects against unreasonable searches of homes. A parent violating a divorce decree is not sufficient grounds to enter a home, he said.
“We did not have any information telling us we had reason to believe the children were in danger,” he said. “The only concern was the mom had not spoken with the kids … in 48 hours.”
A candlelight vigil is planned for 8 p.m. Tuesday in Twin Ridge Park in Bellevue. A GoFundMe account has been set up for Nielsen to cover burial, travel and other expenses. As of Monday evening, more than $26,000 had been raised toward a $30,000 goal. The original goal was $10,000.