A single mother of four in Olathe, Kansas, who spent a night behind bars and is now facing four misdemeanor child endangerment charges, told reporters that she does the best she can.
Ashlyn Kuykendall, 24, says without the little money she currently receives, she would probably be homeless. What she needs, Kuykendall says, is help, rather than criminal charges, FOX4KC reported.
In early June, officers reported to Kuykendall’s home in Johnson County after a mailman called police. Police said the mailman contacted officials when he saw three children younger than 6 playing alone in the yard, KMBC reported.
Although there was an adult inside the home, Kuykendall was still charged. Police said when they went inside, the house was in “deplorable” conditions, according to KMBC. The state of the home is ultimately what resulted in the 24-year-old receiving child endangerment charges from Johnson County Prosecutors, police said.
“It could also include not providing proper care just like along the lie of if it is a hot car, or if you are putting your kid at risk when you are drunk driving,” Johnson County Prosecutor Stephen Howe said. “Those are all situations where the child’s health and welfare is at risk.”
Court documents stated Kuykendall’s children were born in 2015, 2013, 2011 and 2010, FOX4KC reported.
The mother, who says she's never been arrested, told FOX4KC that she has trouble keeping up with both the house and bills. Divorced twice, Kuykendall reportedly receives little assistance from the children’s fathers and said she works six days a week and still struggles to pay the bills.
Kuykendall was at work when she learned her children were being taken away, FOX4KC reported.
“I immediately started asking questions, what happened, why are they here and they told me that they were taking my children,” she said. “I love every single one of them and I don’t know what else, I am going nuts without them here.”
Kuykendall was being held on $10,000 bond until Tuesday, when friends bonded her out. She is not allowed to have any contact with her children.