RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA -- A Rancho Cucamonga woman was arrested on felony charges after allegedly leaving her 4-year-old daughter home alone while spending the day with friends in San Diego.
Amy Kurete says her 9-year-old son, Tanner, and his friends heard the girl crying.
"They looked in the window and saw a little girl screaming, pulling her hair and was really upset, so they knocked on the door," Kurete said.
The little girl opened the door and told the children she had been home alone for hours and wanted her mommy. The children alerted a neighbor who contacted the leasing office, which then called police.
"When the deputy asked the little girl what had happened or where her mom was, first she said her mom went to work and then she turned around and said that her mom didn't feel good and went home," San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Teresa McMahon said.
A responding deputy searched the apartment in the 10900 block of Terra Vista Parkway and found a phone number to the girl's father who was overseas. He told investigators his wife should have been home with their daughter.
During the investigation, investigators also found a note with instructions on when the girl was supposed to eat and go to bed.
Kurete said the child could not reach the food herself.
"They had to help her get the food and the water," Kurete said.
Investigators say the child's mother returned around 10 p.m. Bing Chen, 28, told police, through an interpreter, that she left for San Diego around 3 p.m. to spend the day with friends.
"She said it was OK in China for them to leave their children home alone with instructions on when to go to bed and when to eat, and that she had gone to San Diego with her friends," McMahon said.
Sasha Arevalo, a mother of three, says she's shocked.
"Can they make food for themselves? Can they use the bathroom by themselves? No, it's terrible parenting," she said.
Chen was booked at West Valley Detention Center for willful cruelty to a child, and her daughter was taken by Child Protective Services. She is being held on $100,000 bail and is set to be arraigned Friday.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident was urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department at (909) 477-2800.
CA mother allegedly left 4-year-old home alone during trip