Woman leaves children sleeping outside for 5 days while she slept in motel roomBy Mason White 1:49 PM May 8, 2014
By: Anika Rao
A homeless woman was arrested after leaving her children to sleep outside near bushes, police in California said.
27-year-old Chardenea VanRooyen, left her 1 and 3-year-old children outside during several nights.
VanRooyen faces charges of child abuse and child endangerment after admitting to leaving her two young children to sleep in the bushes for almost a week while she had stayed in the Modesto motel rooms.
Police were alerted to the situation at 11:15 p.m. on Saturday night, after receiving a report of a stroller with two children near the bushes.
When officers arrived they found VanRooyen next to her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
VanRooyen told officers that the children had spent five nights sleeping in the bushes with their father while she had stayed in other people’s rooms at two nearby motels.
Officers offered to take VanRooyen and her children to a homeless shelter, but she refused to go.
Officers found several blankets where the children had been sleeping, and described the children as dirty, hungry and inadequately dressed.
They children were very excited when officers brought them food from a nearby restaurant.
VanRooyen was booked on charges of abandonment and neglect. She was released after posting bail of $50,000.
Her children have been placed in the custody of child protective services.
Police officers were unable to locate the boyfriend, who allegedly looked after the children while their mother was sleeping in the motel rooms.