EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - An Evansville mother is facing a neglect charge after police say she left her small kids locked inside a bedroom while she was gone.
Officers were called to an apartment on Tippecanoe Drive just before 2:15 a.m. Wednesday because a neighbor said children had been screaming for at least 30 minutes.
When officers arrived, they said they could hear a young child crying and saying “mommy.”
After a few minutes, they say Shayna Smith and another woman who lives in the apartment arrived home.
Officers say the women told them they were just out in the parking lot for a few minutes, and the children were asleep.
When they opened the door, officers said they could smell the strong odor if urine, and the apartment was a mess.
They say three children, ages 4, 3, and 2, were locked in a bedroom, and all of them were crying.
Police say the other woman who lived in the apartment told them they had walked to the gas station and might have been gone for 20 minutes.
Officers say they checked gas station surveillance, and the woman had not been there.
They say a car was in the parking lot of the apartments with a woman in the driver’s seat.
Police say she eventually told them she picked the women up and brought them to a friend’s house downtown to buy drugs.
A neighbor said the children were crying and told to be quiet as the women left the apartment.
The children were all taken by Child Protective Services.
Smith was taken to jail.