A 30-year-old mother in Iowa was arrested for allegedly leaving her four children at home while she traveled to Germany, according to KTLA sister station WHO in Des Moines.
Johnston police were asked to perform a child welfare check at home of 30-year-old Erin Lee Macke last Thursday, Sept. 21. Upon arriving, officers found four children — two 12-year-olds, a 7-year-old and a 6-year-old — alone.
Macke left the country the day before and was en route to Germany for a trip she expected to run until Oct. 1, police said.
Macke made no arrangements for supervision of the children while she was away, according to police. Authorities said they contacted her in Germany and ordered her to return home.
When she arrived back in Iowa on Wednesday, police took her into custody on suspicion of four counts of child endangerment and making a firearm available to a person under the age of 21.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this before,” Johnston Police Lt. Tyler Tompkins told KCCI. “We have situations where parents go next door or parents may go out for the night, and while that’s not advisable either depending on the age of the children, obviously leaving the country is a totally different situation. This, where a parent has left the country and left the kids home alone, I’ve never heard of it before.”
After all of her babysitter options fell through, she left the two younger kids in the care of the 12-year-olds, Tompkins said.
Macke's children are now in the care of extended family members.