KOKOMO, Ind. — A Kokomo woman left four children under age 9 home alone while she left to go shopping in Indianapolis, according to an incident report by Kokomo police.
The report states the children ranged in ages from 1, 4, 5, to 8 years old.
Police were called to a trailer on N. Apperson Way on August 2 for a child welfare check. When they arrived, they met a woman who told them she was the mother of two of the children.
She said her father, who lived nearby, went to check on the kids earlier and was greeted at the door by the 8-year-old. The 8-year-old told the man that his mom and dad were in Indianapolis, and the kids were home alone, according to court documents.
The distance between Indianapolis and Kokomo is about one hour.
Police say when they knocked on the door, they could hear “two large dogs barking and hitting the door.” When they went to check the windows, the dogs were reportedly so aggressive that one of them hit the window and caused the window frame to move.
The woman was able to get the woman who lived at the trailer, who was also the mother of the other children, on the phone and told her police wanted her at the home right away. This woman was identified as 25-year-old Courtny Prater.
When Prater arrived at the trailer, she reportedly admitted she had been shopping in Indianapolis and pointed to two other people who were in the car and said they were supposed to be watching the kids.
After the dogs were secured, police went inside the trailer which they say had trash on the floor and smelled of dog urine.
The incident report says the mother of the other two children asked for her children back at this point, and police say they granted her request immediately.
Prater told officer another man who lived at the trailer “off and on” was supposed to check on the kids throughout the day while she was in Indianapolis.
After determining the 8-year-old did not “appear qualified” to care for the other children, Kokomo police requested an arrest warrant be issued for Prater on four counts of neglect, but she was only charged with two counts.
Police did contact the Department of Child Services.