Turlock mother Karina Vargas was arrested for child endangerment Tuesday morning, after Turlock police discovered she had left her 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son home alone overnight without any supervision at their home in the 900 block of Pedras Road.
Police were alerted to the circumstances when the 11-year-old took her little brother to school with her on Tuesday morning. According to Turlock Police Department Public Information Officer Mayra Lewis, the 5-year-old boy was not enrolled in school yet and his big sister didn’t know what to do with her brother, so she took him to school with her. Vargas picked her son up an hour later at the school.
School officials contacted Child Protective Services, who then contact TPD. Vargas was arrested a short time later at when police located her at a local restaurant.
“Some 11-year-olds are certainly responsible and mature enough to be left home alone, however not with a five-year-old. What if the 11-year-old got hurt – would the 5-year-old know what to do? Plus the 5-year-old wasn’t enrolled in school and the 11-year-old couldn’t leave him alone at home because the mother didn’t return in the morning. That’s where officers decided to make the arrest,” said Lewis.
Fortunately the children were unharmed and were taken into protective custody. Vargas remains in jail on a $50,000 bail.