Home Alone

Mom left the country and leaves her kids home alone

Madison Henke, Staff Reporter

An Iowa mom has been taken into custody after leaving her four kids home alone, while traveling to Germany for a vacation.

Erin Macke, 30, has been charged with four child endangerment cases and one of transferring a firearm to someone under 21 after leaving her two 12-year-olds, seven-year-old, and six-year-old home alone. The scheduled vacation was from September 20th to October 1st.

Macke allegedly tried to make child care arrangements and the plans had fallen through. One of the children had contacted their dad to tell him that they were home alone and that their mom had left for vacation. The father proceeded to call the police which led the Department of Human Services to take the children and place them into custody of relatives.

After police had contacted Macke, she was ordered to return home, where she was arrested the following morning. Macke is currently being held for a bond of nine thousand dollars.

According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, depending on laws and child protective policies in a particular area, leaving a young child unsupervised may be considered neglect.

“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,” stated Tyler Tompkins, lieutenant of Johnston police.

According to Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa law does not require children to be a certain age to be left alone, but the law defines child endangerment as “a person who abandons the child or minor to fend for themselves, knowing the child or minor is unable to do so.” It also defines it as “an act that creates a substantial risk” to the child’s health.

Macke’s follow up date had taken place on October 9th.