OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - An Osceola County mother faces child-neglect charges, accused of leaving her three young children home alone while she went shopping and got her nails done.
"This mother put these children in imminent danger by leaving them at home," said Osceola County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain.
Yvonne Rodriguez faces three counts of child neglect after deputies, investigating an anonymous tip, showed up to her apartment and found her young kids home alone.
"These small children answered the door -- a 5-year-old and his two sisters, who were 2 and 3,” said Lizasuain.
Investigators said the 5-year-old had been left in charge.
While waiting for Mom to show up, deputies said the kids complained about being hungry and thirsty.
Deputies said Rodriguez returned after nearly two hours. They said she initially told them a friend was supposed to look after the children, but eventually confessed to leaving them home alone.
"She admitted that she had gone to the grocery store and gone to run several other errands," Lizasuain said.
Rodriguez bonded out of jail, and didn't want to talk when WFTV reporter Myrt Price went to her home.
Neighbors said they were shocked to learn the children had been left alone.
"My kids come first, before anything, and they come with me if I have to do stuff and don't have anyone to watch them. Anything could happen … a fire, they could choke on something; it's really irresponsible," said neighbor Berto Diaz.
The children were taken by the Department of Children and Families and placed with a relative.
Authorities said Rodriguez is not supposed to have contact with them, but said they'd be checking on her after Price heard what sounded like children inside her apartment.