Parents Charged With Leaving 4 Kids Alone for 6 Days With No Food or Heat (VIDEO)

A 15-year-old may be old enough to babysit her younger three siblings -- for a few hours. But not for six days. Add in the allegation that the teen was left with no money, no food, and no heat in a frigid house, and that's when you get arrested, which is exactly what happened to a couple who are accused of leaving their four kids, ages 4, 8, 13, and 15, alone for six days while their parents went to a motel to work on their "marital problems." Sounds like they have parenting problems too.

Maria and Tulio Ayala were charged with endangering the welfare of their children after their grandmother reportedly called police to report that the children were alone. Yet the parents claim it was the grandmother who was supposed to be watching them. Sounds like some miscommunication problems!

But the dad says that the kids' grandmother (his mom) lives in the basement and that they had asked her to watch the kids and left behind $100, food stamps, and space heaters. Police say the grandmother works full-time, was not watching the kids, and they had no food and no heat. In fact, cops say the kids had started using the stove to heat the place up. A very dangerous thing to do!

A neighbor said that the parents weren't exactly known as the helicopter type. They were often not home and the littlest one would tell the neighbor, "I'm hungry," and she would give her food. Yet she didn't think it was this bad. 

Sounds like the parents just wanted to do their own thing and figured between the two teens in the house and the grandmother, someone would step up and take care of things. Sounds very neglectful. Even if the grandmother offered to take care of the kids for a "few days" as the dad claims -- they were gone for six!

The mom says the grandmother should have called or texted her if she couldn't care for the kids -- but what about the other way around? Wouldn't you call or text to check in and make sure everything was okay if you left your kids alone for six days? And who checks into a hotel for that long to work on marital issues?

The kids have reportedly been taken away from the parents and are staying with a relative. The parents vow to get them back, and chances are they will at some point. There just aren't enough good homes for all the neglected kids.

Do you think the parents truly thought the kids were being cared for?


Image via CBSNewYork

child abuse, crime