A Loganville, Pa. woman said she did not leave her babies alone while she drove to Glen Rock to do laundry.
“I left them with a baby sitter,” said Kayla Ann Rafferty, 23, of the Midway Motel on Main Street. “I never, ever leave the babies alone.”
State police said they found Rafferty's 2-month-old and 1-year-old daughters alone in the motel room after receiving a report of children crying there. A caseworker from the county's Office of Children, Youth and Families took emergency custody of the babies, police said.
Troopers on Friday filed a charge of child endangerment against Rafferty, court records state, and she will receive a summons in the mail.
The York Dispatch published a news brief about the incident, which troopers said happened about 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7.
“It made it sound like I just left them alone for hours, but that was not the case,” Rafferty said.
Mom's account: According to Rafferty, she asked a neighbor at the motel, Eric Windon, to baby-sit. But she asked him not to take the babies to his room right away because they were still sleeping, she said.
At some point, Windon left the babies to go to his room and check on his mother, according to Rafferty.
“She's elderly and doesn't get around very well,” Rafferty said. “Before he got the opportunity to come back (to Rafferty's room), the police were there.”
The young mother said it appears her daughters were left alone for about 20 minutes, but concedes the neighbor who called 911
told troopers the babies were alone for more than an hour.
Rafferty said she initially was upset at Windon.
“I think he made a bad choice. He shouldn't have left them alone,” she said. “However, I'm taking responsibility because I did tell him to leave them there, asleep. It was a mistake on my part, too. But what can you do? He had to check on his mother.”
Baby sitter: Windon, 42, said he's watched Rafferty's children a number of times, and called Rafferty a good mother.
“I've known the family about nine months now,” he said. “I watch (the babies) a lot.”
He said the children were still asleep when he decided to run to his room to check on his mother.
“I was down here maybe 15 or 20 minutes, then the cops showed up,” he said.
State police confirmed Rafferty gave them the same account of the incident. The trooper who filed the endangerment charge could not be reached for comment.
Babies home: Rafferty said she has her daughters back.
“I got them the very next morning … under the condition I undergo counseling,” she said, and not be alone with them for now.
“My fiance basically has to be around all the time,” she said.
Rafferty said the family is working with Catholic Charities at the request of the Office of Children, Youth and Families. Once the agencies are satisfied the babies aren't in danger, “I'll be allowed to be alone with our babies again.”
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.
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