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Grandparents Of Kids Found In Philadelphia Basement Will Seek Custody

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The parents of one of the four mentally disabled people found chained in a Tacony basement last weekend (see related story) will seek custody of their grandchildren.

Wilbert and Peggy Wanamaker have never seen their two grandkids, believed to be two and five years old, born to their daughter, 29-year-old Tamara Breeden, whom they hadn’t seen since she went missing in 2003.

Story continues below photo…

victims1 Grandparents Of Kids Found In Philadelphia Basement Will Seek Custody

(Adult victims: Tamara Breeden, 29, Derwin McLemire, 41, and Herbert Knowles, 40, after they were rescued from a the sub-basement of a home in Tacony. Credit: CBS3)

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“They’re alternating between periods of extreme joy and very, very tearful moments when they come to grips with what their child has been through,” said attorney Steven Wigrizer.

Breeden’s two children were among ten rescued from the Frankford section of Philadelphia (related story) in the days following the arrests of Linda Weston, Weston’s daughter Jean McIntosh (related story), and two men.  All of the children are currently in the care of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services.

Breeden, one of the four adults who were mistreated and malnourished, is now being cared for at a social services residence.

Earlier this week, Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey said many of the children so were severely malnourished that he thought the two-year-old was only six months old.

“She’s getting stronger she’s getting the nourishment she needs, the medical care she needs and most importantly the love that she needs now,” said Wigrizer.

The other three victims, who police say were held captive in this basement, are also doing better. Today, Derwin McLemire celebrated his 42nd birthday in a safe environment with people who care about him; a stark contrast from a week ago.

Wigrizer says he’s very optimistic they’re better days ahead.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio; Jericka Duncan, CBS 3