Woman leaves children home alone for 12 hours to go partying


POSTED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 8:52am

A young mother is facing child endangerment charges and her two children are now being cared for by their grandmother.

Denisse Arleth Gomez, 24, is behind bars after leaving her two small children alone on Thursday night for at least 12 hours to go out partying.

Mission police were called to an apartment complex on the 2000 block of Graham Avenue on Friday morning.  Gomez's 5-year-old son was found crying outside by the neighbor at approximately 9:30 a.m. 

The neighbor also discovered a 1-year-old baby inside the apartment and started looking for their mother.

"[Gomez] was nowhere to be found, so she figured maybe she went to the store," explained Sgt. Manny Casas.  "So she grabbed both of the children and took them to her apartment, cleaned them up and fed them because they were very hungry."

Little did the neighbor know, the children had been left alone for the entire night.  When the mother didn't return after 30 minutes, the neighbor called the police fearing something bad had happened.

Officers were searching the apartment for foul play when Gomez arrived at approximately 10:30 a.m. wearing high heels and club attire.

She told police she was at the Dollar Store buying diapers before admitting to leaving her kids alone overnight.  She said she left when the children were asleep at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday and planned to be home before they woke up.

"What she said is that she drank too much and couldn't get herself home, so she stayed at a friends house," Casas said.  "We do believe that she has done this in the past.  There's a very good chance that she did do this in the past, she just never got caught."

Sgt. Casas says the mother is lucky no harm came to her young children, especially since the apartment is just steps away from the staircase that leads down to the street.

The 5-year-old did make his way out of the apartment before the neighbor discovered him.  There's no telling what could've happened had he wandered into the middle of the road.

"If it wasn't for this good samaritan, anything could've happened, and good thing nothing happened other than that they were very very scared," said Casas.

Gomez was charged with two counts of child endangerment and given a total bond set at $400,000.

The two children are currently in the custody of their grandmother.  A judge is expected to determine if the mother will get custody back at a court hearing in a few months.

Casas says that unfortunately, this kind of child endangerment incident is a common crime for parents who don't realize that it's against the law for children under the age of 15 to be left alone without any supervision.

Even if the child is at least 15-years-old and is left alone, they need to know what to do in case of an emergency, especially if they are looking after younger children.


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