Lost children

Uno Yi


Ohio, United States

Lost Child is a photo series documenting the day-to day routine of five siblings living in Glouster, Ohio, who have since been placed in foster care. Their mother, Ellie Mingua, grew up in foster care herself, and suffers from depression and anxiety, making it hard to hold a job. She currently relies on SSI income and is undergoing therapy. When Piper came to school with an infection, a nurse notified Child Protective Services, who placed the children in temporary foster care. The court ruled that Mingua would not be able to regain custody until social workers decided that her house was clean enough.

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  • Piper Pripps, 9, plays with an air freshener spray.

  • Regina, Abby, David and Piper Pripps play outside their mother's home.

  • The family spends a Sunday afternoon in the living room on Sunday.

  • Heather Neace changes two-year-old Matthew "Peanut" Pripps' diaper. Neace, a friend of Peanut's mother helps with childcare in exchange for a place to stay.

  • David, Abby and Piper play while Regina does homework.

  • Abby Pripps, 6, looks out the window.

  • David Pripps, 4, grabs a drink from the refrigerator as Peanut finishes his dinner. Before the siblings were placed in a foster home, their parents, who are both out of the workforce, relied on EBT cards to make sure there was enough food to go around.

  • Regina Pripps, 10, washes dishes after dinner. Prior to moving to a foster home, she did the majority of chores at her family's house, including preparing meals and picking out her sisters' clothing in the morning.

  • David stands in the kitchen as his sisters are waiting for a school bus outside. He spends most of his time by himself during school hours.

  • David hides in a empty box during a game of hide-and-seek.

  • Ellie Mingua tears up while talking to her children on speakerphone for the first time since they were removed by Child Protective Service.

  • David takes a nap.

  • David tries to find a shirt he will be wearing for the day while Regina helps him out.

  • Regina cradles David. Regina's diary said, "I'm proud of being a big sister of four."

  • Peanut runs away from Regina after she says, 'Don't even think." Peanut is not allowed to use the stairs to go to the second floor because "It is too dangerous for him."

  • David looks for a pair of shoes on the second floor as his mother told him to wear them. David shares the room with his three sisters.

  • The Pripps siblings stare at the camera at their mother's house. Few weeks later, the Child Protective Service placed them in a foster care house.