A mother in Iowa has been alleged of leaving her four kids alone as she took an 11-day vacation to Germany, which she chronicled on Instagram.
Erin Lee Macke, 30, was arrested Sept. 28 for leaving her four children, ages 6, 7, 12, and 12, home alone on Sept. 20 as she vacationed.
Police in Johnston, Iowa, carried out a welfare check at Macke’s house after getting a tip that the four children had been left by themselves.
Not only were they left alone, but there was a gun left out in the open. Macke apparently left an unloaded Glock 9MM pistol on her dresser next to two magazines, one that was fully loaded and one partly loaded, according to a criminal complaint.
Macke was charged with four counts of child endangerment and one count of making a firearm available to a person under the age of 21.
On Nov. 6, Macke pleaded not guilty to the charges. Police said that Macke tried but failed to make child care arrangements while she was in Europe, the Des Moines Register reported.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this before,” Johnston Police Lt. Tyler Tompkins told KCCI.
“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.”
Photos posted to Macke’s Instagram page show her in Bavaria, Germany, with a friend and her child.
The father of two of her children was the one who warned police about the situation, according to People magazine.
“There was nobody lined up to be with the children,” Police Lt. Lynn Aswegan told People. “Apparently she had talked to a couple of family members that earlier on had some conflicts watching the children during that time-frame, and she gave them the indication she had it taken care of.”
As noted by Aswegan, “She felt comfortable that the kids were responsible enough to take care of themselves during that duration.”
Macke was arrested, but later released on $9,000 bond.