A grandmother was arrested after prosecutors say she abandoned her three grandchildren, one as young as three years old, by leaving them alone in a trashed Round Lake Park house with no food.
Vanessa R. Moody, 61, of Round Lake Park, was charged with three counts of child abandonment, a Class 4 felony.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ayah Elfarra said the mother of three children was in the Lake County Jail earlier this month.
DCFS granted Moody, who is the children’s grandmother, with protective custody.
Moody was supposed to be watching the three children on September 23, Elfarra said.
A neighbor found a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl wandering the neighborhood that afternoon.
The children knocked on their neighbor’s door and told the neighbor they were hungry and that no one was at their home, Elfarra said.
The neighbor let the children into their house and provided them with food.
Elfarra said the neighbor called police a few hours later after caring for the children.
Officers spoke with the children, who said they woke up that day and it was hot in their house and they were alone.
Moody had left the house on Friday and told the children she would be right back but never came back, Elfarra said.
Officers learned the two young children’s older brother, who is 13, was at football practice.
Police later spoke with Moody the next day at her residence. The officers found the home was in “absolute disarray,” Elfarra said.
There was garbage and clothing on the floors and the home smelled of urine. It was also hot inside.
Elfarra said Moody admitted to leaving the children alone and put the 13-year-old boy in charge.
Prosecutors told Lake County Judge James Newman during an initial hearing that the charges against Moody were non-detainable under the SAFE-T Act.
Moody was released from custody following the court hearing and is scheduled to appear in court again on October 10.