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

34 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

adamat34 adamat34

They didn't give a shit about these kids no heat? No food? Lock them the hell up.

Little off topic but I thought it was illegal for cities to turn off the heat in the winter???

Todd Vrancic

It depends on where you live.  If it doesn't get that cold, then they can.  And if the heat is already turned off, they are under no obligation to turn it back on.  So, if the heat was turned off around the end of September, for instance, it wouldn't be turned back on without a payment.

LawNO... LawNOrderMommy

Potentially the heat system in this home wasn't working and these "parents" made no effort to get it fixed, they don't seem to have their priorities in check. 

Frost... FrostyMelted

Always told that every child deserves a mother and a father. I wonder exactly what these innocent kids could have possibly done to deserve this dreadful duo.

the4m... the4mutts

Idk. Im usually quick to jump in and blame neglectful parents...

But this doesn't sound like it's all their fault.

What's wrong with leaving teens and siblings with a grown family member for 6 days?

My kids go to their dad's house for 2 weeks every summer. Am I wrong for letting them go, just because its such a long amount of time?

You don't know if GRANDMA, and not mom & dad, was the one to blow the money, and ignore the kids. Right now, its a he-said, she-said scenario, and its going to be tough to prove that the parents neglected anything.

Did they find space heaters anywhere in the house? I mean, if the heat was broken/shut off, there's nothing wrong with providing space heaters. At least they tried (assuming there are working space heaters in the house). Food? Why cant a 13&15yr old call mom and dad and say, "hey, gma isn't feeding us" or "hey, I just noticed you didn't leave us enough food for 6 days".

This just doesn't add up, unless they can prove that the parents did it on purpose.

nonmember avatar Belinda

Honestly it doesn't matter about the grandma, they are the parents, they clearly do not care about the kids, staying at a hotel for 6 days, shouldn't that money for the hotel have been used for the heat and food. They have food stamps, why?? They have enough money for the hotel. The youngest has asked others for food before. They have abused the system. Prosecute to the fullest. Get there kids back never. And as far as the comment made about my kids go see there dad for weeks at a time, well is on food stamps and goes to a hotel for 6 days and leave the kids without? If so then no they shouldn't go,hello do you know what the difference is??

Prett... PrettyNInk87x

@ the4mutts how is this NOT their fault?


There are sooo many things wrong with leaving a 15 year old to watch over 3 other children. Let's say there were no problems with the heating system and food in the house.


One, the youngest was 4 years old, this could mean the child is either not in school or in pre k which is a half day. So this means that the 15 year old would have to stay home or do a half day in school. The next is 8 years old, normally elementary schools run an hour behind jr high and high school so that means the 15 year old would miss an hour of school just to get her sibling on the bus. I would never let my child miss school because i had "problems". But they knew the heat didn't work so why the heck would you blow money on a motel room and leave your kids in an unheated house grandma or no grandma?


No you are not wrong for letting your kids go to their dad's there is an adult watching them.


Prett... PrettyNInk87x

Two, say grandma did blow all the money and left. If there's a lack of food and heat in the house what would make you think there is a working phone?


Three, if the heat was broken and you're not food stamps why the hell are you going away for six days to a motel? they cost about 50 a night (i think), that would be 300 bucks you could use for food or heat!


I do agree grandma should be on the hook her as well if she indeed was there that week. but the parents are VERY much to blame here. You don't spend money on a motel if you need your heat fixed or you need it to be turned back on!



nonmember avatar Samantha

Clearly its stated that grandma works FULL time so obviously they were left alone basically the whole time regardless if she watched them when she was home. And it also made it clear that the mother or father did not check in. Nothing wrong with children staying with family, but don't you check in to see how they are? And another thing, if grandma was really suppose to watch them and she didn't, than they chose the wrong person to watch them, and since she lives down stairs they should have good enough judgement of her behavior do decide if she's a good candidate to watch them for a week. Sounds like they expected grandma to watch them, and they probably hand them off to her more likely then not if they can go six days not knowing how their children are! Screw your marital problems when you have parenting problems. Go to a therapist instead of ditching your children that you decided to have.

Mae Clark

Neglected sure but the story they told could have been true. Maybe they died ask the Grandma to watch the kids. Bad parenting on all accounts.

1-10 of 34 comments 1234 Last
F