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Wed, Oct. 23

Woman found at casino after allegedly leaving 5 kids home alone

Prescott police arrested a woman on Christmas Eve on five counts of misdemeanor charges of child neglect after she left her four children and a child she was babysitting home alone and police found her an hour and a half later playing a slot machine at Bucky's Casino.

At 2:37 a.m. on Christmas Eve, an officer answered a call about children left unattended at a home.

"A woman told the officer she had left her child with the babysitter, but when she went to pick up her daughter, she found the door to the home open, couldn't find the babysitter, and realized the children were home alone," said Lt. Andy Reinhardt, spokesman for the Prescott Police Department.

The woman told the officer that the babysitter had watched her daughter before and that she had lent the babysitter her car for the evening. When the woman had a friend drive her to the babysitter's home, she noticed her car was not parked out front and that the front door to the home was open about three inches, according to the police report.

The woman went inside looking for the babysitter and found her daughter and the babysitter's four children, including a baby less than 3 months old, all sound asleep, according to the police report.

The woman told the officer she called all the babysitter's friends she knew, but no one knew where the babysitter was.

The woman showed the officer a picture of the babysitter she had on her cell phone and the officer put out an "attempt to locate" on the woman's car.

The woman stayed with the children while officers searched for the babysitter.

At 4 a.m., dispatch told the officer that Yavapai-Prescott Tribal Police

Department officers had found the woman's car in a parking lot at Bucky's Casino. The officer found the babysitter inside the casino playing a slot machine, arrested her, and took her back to the police department.

The babysitter told the officer she and the children had been watching movies at her home when a friend told her another friend wanted to be picked up from the casino at 1 a.m., according to the police report.

The babysitter told the officer she left the five children sleeping at her home before 1 a.m. to go to the casino and planned to be gone only a little while, but lost track of time, according to the police report.

The officer told the babysitter that the woman came to pick up her daughter at 2:30 a.m. When the officer told the babysitter that a baby could not be left unattended, the babysitter said she knew that and started to cry, according to the police report.

"The officer called Child Protective Services who sent a case worker to take custody of the babysitter's children," Reinhardt said.

The babysitter was booked into the county jail, and an officer took the woman and her daughter to her car, which was parked at the casino.

The suspect's name and her booking photo are not included in this story per Courier policy not to identify by name people who are charged with misdemeanors.

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