Memphis woman arrested after leaving young children home alone - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis woman arrested after leaving young children home alone

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By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Police arrested a Memphis woman last late week after her two small children were allegedly left home alone for hours.

When she came home on Friday, Delisa McDuffy found the unfathomable.

"I wanted to cry so bad," she said.

Her two nieces, at ages four-years-old and five-months-old, were home alone.

"The first thing my mind said was to call the police," McDuffy said.

Investigators arrested her sister, Danita Payne, charging her with child abuse and neglect in leaving her two children home alone.

"That is crazy," McDuffy said. "She has to be out of her mind."

According to an affidavit, the children were soaked in their own urine.  The bedroom floor where the children were found was covered in baby powder, and bed sheets were stained with urine.  According to police, at one point, the four-year-old tried to change the younger child's diaper.

But, investigators added, the children were not physically hurt.

Two hours after they showed up, officers found Payne at a friend's house around the corner.

While she's not involved with this case, Nancy Williams, Director of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, has worked on others like it.

"It's an adult's job to keep a child safe," Williams said. "Those children are not ready, not equipped, to take care of each other.

It's a lesson McDuffy said her sister must learn the hard way...

"I hope it's a big eye-opener for her, because if I come home and see the same thing again, I'm going to do the same thing," she said.

The children are now in their grandmother's custody.

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