In the case of real-life Home Alone, four children from Iowa were left unsupervised after their mother went on an 11-day trip to Germany. Police were informed of the children after a tip led them to Erin Lee Macke’s house where a welfare check revealed two 12-year-old twins (a boy and a girl), a seven-year-old girl and a six-year-old girl all home alone.
Police in Johnston, Iowa also found an unloaded handgun that was left on top of the dresser in the master bedroom.
When police called Erin, she said that she didn’t plan to return until the first of October.
The children informed the police that their mother had left the day before and she wasn’t going to return until October 1st. When police called her, she admitted to leaving her kids alone after all her babysitters fell through.
The mother of four posted several pictures of her travels on Instagram including one of her smiling and posing by the Danube River in Bavaria.
Police ordered her to return home immediately but instead, she decided to cut her trip short by only four days and returned onto U.S. soil on Wednesday night.
She was arrested the next morning and charged with four counts of child endangerment and one count of making a firearm available to a person under the age of 21.
According to Johnston Police Lt. Tyler Tompkins, he said: ‘we have situations where parents go next door or parents may go out for the night, and while that’s not advisable either depending on the age of the children, obviously leaving the country is a totally different situation. This, where a parent has left the country and left the kids home alone, I’ve never heard of it before.’
It is unclear why the mother decided to go to Germany but at the end of September, many tourists like to visit the county for their annual Oktoberfest festival.
The Iowa Department of Human Services has since taken custody of the children and they have been placed under the care of extended family members.
The two youngest children are now with their father, Matthew Macke. Public records show he has been divorced from Erin since 2013. She is currently being held on a $9,000 bail and the judge has ordered her not to contact any of her children.