A grandmother has been arrested after police say she left four of her children and one grandchild at her Florida home without any supervision so she could go to a local casino.
Crystal Hernandez, 34, was arrested at her Pompano Beach home Tuesday after neighbors called police when the five children, aged between 2 and 12 years old, were wandering around outside asking people for food, the Daily Mail reported.
When law enforcement officials arrived, they found the smell of feces and urine overpowering and “almost unbearable to stand.”
Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew McGee said he found “feces on the kitchen counter, along with feces on the floor,” according to the Sun-Sentinel.
There were also clothes and old food scattered around her home, said McGee. Investigators saw no food in the cupboards.
Hernandez’s boyfriend, Marcos Perez, gave a WSVN reporter access to the home and found a refrigerator full of rotten food and the apartment in an unkempt state.
Perez told WSVN that he and Hernandez left the children in the care of a babysitter while they went to Miami to look for help to pay rent.
Hernandez denied leaving her children to gamble saying, “No, I didn't leave no one. I paid a babysitter, and the babysitter left. I went to get the rent, trying to help my kids, and she left them there.”
“I am a good person," she told CBS 12 News. "I take care of my kids.”
All five children have been removed from the home by Broward County Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Investigations Section, and Hernandez has been forbidden to have contact with them.
She faces five counts of child neglect without great harm and is being held on $5,000 bond.