Jonesboro woman charged with felony child endangerment

Jonesboro woman charged with felony child endangerment

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro woman was charged with felony child endangerment after police say she left her young children home alone for several hours.

Turunika Harvey, 25, is charged with two counts of first degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 30, an officer was called to Harvey's apartment in the 1900-block of Cedar Heights Drive.

According to the initial incident report, a bus driver for a local daycare found the 3- and 5-year-old children home alone when he had stopped to pick up one of the children.

The children reportedly told the driver they did not know where their parents were.

The driver told police he tried to call the children's mother, but was unable to reach her.

He said the 5-year-old child was wearing the same clothes she had worn the day before, the report stated.

The responding officer and an investigator with the Craighead County Department of Children and Family Services entered the apartment to check on the children's welfare.

Inside the apartment, the officer stated he found a beer bottle and several lighters within reach of the children. He also reported the apartment was "very unkempt and I could smell the odor of feces, but did not ever locate the source."

The DCFS investigator removed the children from the home and took them to the local facility.

At 8:30 a.m., approximately an hour and a half after the bus driver attempted to contact her, Harvey arrived at the scene.

When asked why she left her children alone, Harvey reportedly said her babysitter "couldn't make it and her phone died so she could not call anybody."

The officer stated he did not believe Harvey's story because she was "at work all night with access to several phones."

He then arrested and took Harvey to the Craighead County Detention Center where she was left in lieu of a probable cause hearing.

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