Texas woman Kristine Noffsinger was arrested after abandoning her daughters in order to take a trip out of town, though she had no trouble arranging for the family dog to stay at a Petsmart hotel.
"I think that's terrible for a mother to leave her kids at any point,” Phoebe Mannie, a neighbor, said. “To go to a whole other state without making sure they have the proper care, that's ludicrous.”
Noffsinger left on April 17 to spend three days in St. Louis, leaving her daughters, ages 10 and 8, in their North Austin apartment to feed, bathe, dress, and get to and from school on their own.
“There's a difference between I'm going to run to the store for 30 minutes and pick up a few things and be back versus I'm going to go to dinner, to a movie, I'm going to go out dancing , I'll see you in about 10 hours," Julie Moody said, a Child Protective Services spokesperson said.
Thanks to a confidential tip, the Williamson County Sherriff’s Office was able to investigate.
While it isn’t illegal to leave children home alone, Noffsinger’s actions qualify as abandonment and endangerment of a child. She could face up to two years in a state jail, if convicted.
"That's absolutely mortifying,” Victoria Moore, a neighbor, said. “I'm not a mother myself but I can only imagine if I did have children, just horrible.”
The girls now reside in Illinois with one of the fathers.