Coroner seeks relatives of orphaned girls

FRESNO, Calif. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE: The Fresno County Coroner's Office is following up on leads trying to find the family of a Fresno woman who died, leaving her two young girls orphaned.

The coroner's office has not been able to find any of Spry's relatives. But after our story Monday night, many tips have come in. Some leads even stretch out of the country. "We have one lead from El Salvador, a phone number from 2006, maybe it's the father, but so far we haven't been able to find any direct next of kin contact," said Fresno County Deputy Coroner Jeff Gentry.

Anyone with information about sherry spry is urged to contact the Fresno County Coroners Office.
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"The kids came up and got me. They oldest one came up and got me and said, Patty we can't get my Mom awake. We can't get my Mom awake," said Kennett.

The Deputy Coroner Jeff Gentry believes Spry died from complications of untreated diabetes and that her children appear to be her only family. "And because there was no family present the young children had to be taken into CPS custody." He said.

Neighbor Georgia Pena says it was sad to see the children being taken away. "Heartbreaking, heartbreaking they grabbed me on my leg. I don't want to go. I don't want to go. I want to stay with you," she recalled.

With no known relatives, the girls are in foster care. But there is a man who once claimed to be their father. Donald Salter also known as "Renegade," had the girls accompany him, and hold signs while he begged for money from passing cars. We first saw them on the street with him in January of last year. He was passed out on the sidewalk.

Police arrested Salter for child endangerment because he was drunk. The girl's mother, Sherry Spry was angry when she arrived to find police and our camera. She claimed she had trusted Salter to babysit while she went to a doctor's appointment. But, we saw the girls back on the streets last July. Police were notified and Salter was again arrested, on unrelated charges.

Despite his claims, it appears he is not the girl's father. Neighbors say the girls and their mother moved into an apartment in Central Fresno last December.

Neighbor Barbara Smith described Spry as a devoted parent. "She was good with her kids. Sherry was a good mom. She did as best she could with what she had to work with, which wasn't much."

But now, it appears these girls, who had very little to begin with have even less. Deputy Coroner Jeff Gentry said there is no trace of a family. "All of the searches we've done lead us back to no family for the mother. And so our primary concern right now is finding someone for the children to have a relationship as they grow older."

Gentry said a social worker from Child Protective Services has assured him the girls are doing well in foster care.

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