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(NYPost)   Mother goes on vacation to Italy with boyfriend, leaves behind 6 kids with food, credit cards, and list of emergency numbers.   ( divider line
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14643 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Feb 2003 at 12:14 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-02-14 03:21:29 PM  
In Russia, the kids leave the mom to go to Italy.
2003-02-14 03:28:18 PM  
Urbn -

I just had a long response, but it's gotten farked. The long and the short of it is that you cannot make valid, accurate judgments with the information currently available. You can only make assumptions which may or may not turn out to be true.
2003-02-14 03:40:14 PM  
I say the 14 year old called herself because she got tired of dealing with all of those brats.
2003-02-14 03:59:10 PM  
Zmiley -

What do you mean?

The police do not know where the mother is. That means that a) the mother has not tried to contact them or b) the mother has contacted them, but the kids are keeping things from the police.

We've already established that if she hasn't bothered to contact her kids, then she is an irresponsible parent.

So if you wish to give the mother the benefit of doubt on her responsibility, then we must assume that b) is true.

Which then comes to then next point. If the kids are withholding information from the police, then they should not be taking care of themselves as they are not respecting an authority that their mother said to trust. That means that the kids cannot be trusted to take care of themselves, which makes the mother responsible for their well-being by being there. She is not there however, so she must be an irresponsible parent.

Also, I might add, it's illegal for a minor to use a credit card. It's difficult to believe that a responsible parent would encourage their children to break the law.
2003-02-14 04:06:21 PM  

Don't bother. You'll just get the same reply I did. Apparently, you and I just have higher standards than these people do. That doesn't make us right and them wrong. There is no right and wrong apparently. Oh, and since kids are able to parent 5 siblings at the age of 14, why can't they vote and drive and drink and stay up as late as they want and drop out of school when they want? Apparently, by 14 you are ready to handle the most important life decisions or a parent wouldn't put one in charge of his/her sibling's lives for 2 weeks.
2003-02-14 04:25:45 PM  
Urbn- I would like to say you have done what most single(at the time) parents are not. You put your child's needs and future above your needs and took responsibility for that. I agree with you that 14 is not an age at which a CHILD can take care of five younger siblings for a couple of days let alone two weeks. I am raising my son on my own and at four he thinks he's capapble of watching himself. I'd never dream of pulling a stunt like this even if he were 14.
2003-02-14 04:30:28 PM  
Urbn - wrong. My standards are probably higher than yours, particularly since I require actual facts to argue positions, rather than emotions. Additionally, I speak only for myself. 'these people' probably wouldn't waste their time with your unsupportable arguments.

Sthayashi - you had me up until "If the kids are withholding information from the police, then they should not be taking care of themselves as they are not respecting an authority that their mother said to trust."

You're assuming that their mother told them to trust the police, and further that trusting the police is necessarily a 'right thing' and is required for them to be responsible. Why? If the oldest one (I'm assuming she's in charge, as it were) determined that the police were only interested in creating chaos within that environment and prosecuting (or persecuting) their mother (and likewise assessed that this was a bad thing), what motivation would she have to help the police, and why is that automatically wrong?

Again, I'm not saying what the mother did was 'right', only that without all of the facts I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt before castigating her, as a lot of people seem willing to do.
2003-02-14 04:34:17 PM  
Thanks, TX_Attitude. My daughter is 9 and I couldn't imagine leaving her alone over one night, let alone skipping the country and not contacting her for days. My guess would be that many of these people's attitudes will change when they have children of their own and realize how different it is to be looking on this child you love and would want no harm to come to rather than just remembering how mature they thought they were at 14.

Good luck to you and your son.
2003-02-14 04:42:13 PM  
"I'm a mother, so I must be right! Think of the children!"


You are very silly.
2003-02-14 04:44:12 PM  
[image from too old to be available] Asshat mom who left 6 kids alone in Colorado tracked down in Italy, biatch-slapped back over the ocean; 60-year-old greaser boyfriend has his player ride confiscated; both convicted of being a pimple on humanity's ass. Sentenced to 1 million hours of community service mopping up jizz in local peep show house. Farkers laugh in unison.
2003-02-14 04:47:14 PM  
The reasons why this was wrong:

2 weeks is too long of a time.
$7 is no where near enough money
Italy is too far away.

Otherwise, I don't have too big of a problem with it. Send a neighbor or family memeber to check up on them once a day, only leave for a week, and go to somewhere closer next time.

Oh, yeah, that's right, there will be no next time.
2003-02-14 04:47:21 PM  
A lot less silly than

"I have no kids yet I know everything about raising them. Kids don't need parents; 14 year olds are capable of raising 5 siblings on $7 and an absent mom's credit cards."
2003-02-14 04:49:50 PM  
Who said I didn't have kids?
2003-02-14 04:53:31 PM  
Zmiley -

You've neglected the whole credit card deal. It's illegal for someone else to use your credit card. That's called fraud. Even if the kid had mommy's permission, it doesn't mean that she has the creditor's permission (and creditors will not give you credit if you're under 18). By the credit card alone, she is unconditionally irresponsible.

As for kids withholding information, let's examine that. By protecting her mother, the daughter is aiding and abetting a criminal. If they are in contact, and the mother is telling the kids to keep quiet about their communications, then she is irresponsible by using children to protect her from her crime.

Presumably, if the mother wants to fess up, this story would be old news by now.

Finally, if the daughter is in contact with the mother, but hasn't told her that the family has been broken up, then I don't think the daughter is very responsible either. And by putting an irresponsible person in charge, the mother is thus irresponsible.

One last thing for real. I've noticed that there seem to be a lot of assumptions that need to be made in order to retain the benefit of doubt. Because that many assumptions need to be made, the rest of us are thinking that maybe she is irresponsible.
2003-02-14 05:15:10 PM  
1) to the people who keep rasing the issue about the credit card - pizza can be ordered from over the internet with only the credit card#. it can also be used at an ATM to witdraw cash. and who really gives a shiat if it's illegal? they have the parent's permission, good enough.

2) about he $7. see part 1.

also don't forget, they already had food stocked up before she left.

I still dont think its a bad thing. I bet those kids were having fun. I know I would have.
2003-02-14 05:16:43 PM  
Zmiley - Ok, I'll bite. Given that the only means of sustenance the kids were left with was $7 and a credit card, and that the most likely outcome of a 14 year old who very likely has no form of ID trying to use that card would be the store owner confiscating said card, what assumptions does one have to make for this to be an acceptable situation? I'm honestly having a hard time thinking of _any_ set of circumstances under which this would be acceptable, or even reasonable.
2003-02-14 05:17:45 PM  
anyone else wonder why we need licenses and testing to drive a car, but not to raise and have children?
2003-02-14 05:23:05 PM  
Chipaku -
Did you actually go to If you did, you'd notice that the order via the internet is quite limited in scope, and definately doesn't cover Greeley, CO where these kids were located.
2003-02-14 05:24:30 PM  
Frimel: "anyone else wonder why we need licenses and testing to drive a car, but not to raise and have children?"

probably because we are naturally equipped at birth with (future) childmaking abilities?

I think this world is overcrowded, and to many idiots popping out babies too, but still, it aint the gubment's farking place to take control over people's reproductive abilities.

also, thank the fundies for brainwashing people against abortion.
2003-02-14 05:24:32 PM  
If only we could have this woman nominated proactively for a Darwin Award. It is obvious that this is someone who deserves an award for removing herself from the gene pool!

// Bring on the Chlorine!
2003-02-14 05:24:46 PM  
Sthayashi - you're correct, the kids using the credit card is fraud. Given that it happens thousands of times a day, and given that no one complains when little Jennifer or Tiffany takes big rich daddy's or mommy's credit card to go shopping for shoes or that prom dress, I'm less interested in that point. Point taken, though.

As to your second point, you're now defining it as a criminal act, which I'm hesitant to agree with. You may be right in that it's a criminal act, but as a criminal act it's seriousness is tied to the situation - meaning, if the children really were capable of taking care of themselves, it would be difficult for me to agree with the charge. As I stated before, I was left alone (with my younger brother) by my mother for weekends at times, and a couple of times for a week at a time, and while it may have been criminal behavior on her part there was certainly no harm that came of it. Calling it a criminal act, and therefore defining responsibility with that in mind, does not necessarily seem accurate.

Third point: as stated before, what's the basis of assumption that the mother knows what's going on? I'm sure if she were responsible and knew what was going on, she would want to contact the police and deal with the situation. I don't know that she knows what's going on.

Fourth: I don't know, nor am I willing to assume, the nature or frequency of any contact the daughter had had with her mother for the past couple of weeks. Again, I'm not willing to assume ANYTHING.

MY point is that there need to be assumptions to make your case. You assume: the mother has had no contact with her children, the children are not responsible enough to look after themselves for a couple of weeks, and that it's flatly wrong in any and all ways for this situation to occur. I refuse to make those assumptions.
2003-02-14 05:25:54 PM  
I read the long versions of the story. The mom and dad both claiming that the kids are abused is a big red flag. One of them is nuts--probably mom, judging from this story. Nutcases have absolutely no problem with this kind of behavior--they live entirely to suit their own needs. One day they're buying their kids a $1000 game system, and the next day they beat them senseless because the kids woke mommy up while she was napping.

I keep hoping my ex will do something like this.
2003-02-14 05:28:44 PM  
...the mother pleaded guilty to child abuse in 1995 and 1991 in the Denver area, but court records are sealed.

Given that the mom has not been heard from since February 3 ("Gates said police haven't heard from the mother, and they don't know if she even has knowledge of what has happened with her children since she left.") and the youngest child is 2, this becomes a case of child neglect. If the mom were in an auto accident and is lying in a coma somewhere, and the kids made up the story about mom leaving on vacation, then perhaps she can get a doctor's excuse; if she left them willingly 11 days ago and hasn't tried to call / find them, it is simply neglect.

The Colorado statutes defining child neglect state (among other things)

"Abuse" or "child abuse or neglect" means an act or omission in one of the following categories that threatens the health or welfare of a child:

Any case in which a child exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, failure to thrive, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling, or death and either:
- Such condition or death is not justifiably explained;
- The history given concerning such condition is at variance with the degree or type of such condition or death; or
- The circumstances indicate that such condition may not be the product of an accidental occurrence.

Any case in which a child is subjected to sexual assault or molestation, sexual exploitation, or prostitution;

Any case in which a child is a child in need of services because the child's parents, legal guardian, or custodian fails to take the same actions to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision that a prudent parent would take.

Any case in which a child is subjected to emotional abuse. As used in this subparagraph, "emotional abuse" means an identifiable and substantial impairment of the child's intellectual or psychological functioning or development or a substantial risk of impairment of the child's intellectual or psychological functioning or development.

Any act or omission described in §19-3-102.

Emphasis added by me.

I'm all for giving the benefit of the doubt, and Mom has a lot to answer for, but if she did not arrange for adequate supervision she is neglecting her children. End of story. It doesn't matter if she is on a secret CIA mission to take out Saddam, it is her duty to take care of her children while she is away.

Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19-3-102 (West Supp. 1998)

"Neglected" or "dependent" a child is neglected or dependent if:

A parent, guardian, or legal custodian has abandoned the child or has subjected him or her to mistreatment or abuse or a parent, guardian, or legal custodian has suffered or allowed another to mistreat or abuse the child without taking lawful means to stop such mistreatment or abuse and prevent it from recurring;

The child lacks proper parental care through the actions or omissions of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian;
The child's environment is injurious to his or her welfare;

A parent, guardian, or legal custodian fails or refuses to provide the child with proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical care, or any other care necessary for his or her health, guidance, or well-being;

The child is homeless, without proper care, or not domiciled with his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian through no fault of such parent, guardian, or legal custodian;

The child has run away from home or is otherwise beyond the control of his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian.

Are these kids beyond her control? If she hasn't seen them or spoken with them in over a week, yes they are. They have been in state custody since February 4. The definition of "proper care" could be argued, but the fourteen year old had better be something special if they can prove they can take care of five siblings. She wasn't even home when police made their first call, meaning the other five were in the care of the 12 year old. Did they all go to school? Etc. etc.
2003-02-14 05:29:33 PM  
02-14-03 05:15:10 PM Chipaku

1) to the people who keep rasing the issue about the credit card - pizza can be ordered from over the internet with only the credit card#. it can also be used at an ATM to witdraw cash. and who really gives a shiat if it's illegal? they have the parent's permission, good enough.

Uh, a) Pizza for two weeks is by no means evidence of a responsible parent. b) Maybe the police and the credit card people might be unhappy about the illegal use of credit.

Also, how stocked up with food were they? In two weeks, milk reaches it's expiration date (if bought one or two days ago), bread and cheese grows mold. Also, with a household of 6 kids you think that they wouldn't need to hit a grocery store once? You're more naive than I thought.
2003-02-14 05:30:47 PM  

Maybe we can hope she just stays in Europe to pop out the next 6 welfare babies. If she's as irresponsible as all these circumstances combined entail, that's probably exactly what she'll attempt to do.
2003-02-14 05:33:09 PM  
"and while it may have been criminal behavior on her part there was certainly no harm that came of it. Calling it a criminal act, and therefore defining responsibility with that in mind, does not necessarily seem accurate."

So are you saying that we should scrap the DUI laws, because often drunks are pulled over without having slammed into anyone yet? Endangering the lives of others is criminal for a very good reason, it cuts down on the number of times people are actually hurt.
2003-02-14 05:34:33 PM  
We need a new tag for stories like this. May I suggest noose?
2003-02-14 05:36:14 PM  
they dont have to eat only pizza. any restaurants deliver and take the credit card orders via internet with no approval or signature needed.

also, I never said that they would not need to go to the grocery store. I was just making the point that $7 is irreleveant because they have the credit card which can be used, and if they need cash, it can be used at an ATM. some grocery stores even deliver.

who gives a shiat what the police think about the kids using the credit card? if some twit didnt rat the mom out, nobody would have even known or cared. the mom would get the bills and it's her problem.

I'm not the naive one, I am basing my statements on facts, not assumptions. you are automatically assuming the worst without knowing all the facts about the situation.
2003-02-14 05:38:04 PM  
the mom would get the bills and it's her problem

No, it's OUR problem. She's on welfare.
2003-02-14 05:39:12 PM  
TungstenChef - no, I'm saying that leaving responsible children to care for themselves for limited amounts of time is neither inherently evil, wrong or dangerous. You're comparing apples and oranges.
2003-02-14 05:39:33 PM  
Is it just me, or did someone forget to spray Fark with Troll-B-Gone(TM) today?

*stomp* *scrape* ewwwwwwwwwww!
2003-02-14 05:44:38 PM  
That's hilarious, TungstenChef!

"I can't win an argument, so now I'm going to resort to insults."

Fantastic! Maybe your mom shoudn't let you play with the computer without supervision.
2003-02-14 05:47:01 PM  
Zmiley - No, you're saying that it's ok to leave responsible kids along for a _long_ period of time. A few days is a limited amount of time, 2 weeks is legally neglect.

Also, you can't really compare your childhood experiences to this for the simple fact that you taking care of yourself is FAR different from having 5 siblings younger than you. At the most 2 of the kids were old enough to be somewhat responsible, there were another 4 kids younger than 12 that the oldest would've had to take care of. It's really criminal making a 14 year old responsible for the life of a 6 year old for that length of time, can you imagine the psychological burden she would carry if something had gone wrong?
2003-02-14 05:48:59 PM  
"I can't win an argument, so now I'm going to resort to insults."

Hey, this is Fark, hie thee to Metafilter if you want civil debate.
2003-02-14 05:58:26 PM  
Actually, I've never gotten a cash advance on a credit card from an ATM. I thought those things usually had PINs attached to them. Also in all those cases (except for cash advances) they need to have an adult signature. Don't believe me? Trying ordering a pizza with a credit card. Sure you'll get it, but you're supposed to do some signing there.

There's a BIG problem if no one complains, because someone really should.

Also on the third point, by NOT knowing what's going on, I am claiming irresponsibility on someone's part, either her's or her daughters. There are only two assumptions we can make on that point, either the mother knows or she doesn't, one of the MUST be true.

My point is that one must make quite a few assumptions to give her the true benefit of doubt.

There are only a fixed number of cases here, and if work them through to their conclusion, then most of them state that the mother is irresponsible.

Oh yeah, two more points for you. First, call up your mother and ask her if she would have left you alone for as long if your brother was only 6 instead of 10. Second, be sure to tell her happy valentine's day.

Numberz - Sorry to tell you, but I believe the youngest was 6, not 2
2003-02-14 05:59:26 PM  
Urbn Not that you're likely to see this... but, ah well.

I was able to handle my 2 brothers and 2 sisters just fine when I was 14. My youngest sister was 2-yrs old. I will give you that your outcome is probably more likely. It all depends on the maturity of the oldest child and how well behaved the rest are.

In your example, you were the babysitter, an outsider. They most likely combined against you, whether they planned it or not. heh. Oh, wait, no, they were psycho (fire and police! roflmbo!)
2003-02-14 05:59:51 PM  
TC - no, I'm not say it's OK, just that it's not inherently wrong and that I refuse to condemn the woman for her actions on the very limited information that's currently available. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. In all likelihood, she's probably every bit as selfish as people are portraying her to be, but I don't know that.

Also, I wasn't trying to compare my personal experiences with this one in the case you quote, only illustrate (none to clearly, obviously) that my own mother probably would have been considered criminally liable for her actions when I was younger, and that I didn't and don't see it that way.
2003-02-14 06:03:14 PM  
Sthayashi - wish I could call her.
2003-02-14 06:03:29 PM  

I'm wagering, though, that your mother wasn't on welfare, yet going to Europe with boyfriends 30 years her senior and leaving you with no exact contact information for 2 weeks with under $10. Did she not call you for days at a time? If she called 3 times and couldn't find you wouldn't she have come home to see what was wrong? The kind of mother who would do what the mother in this story did is far more likely to have kids like the ones I babysat than like you.

I'm just sayin...
2003-02-14 06:04:40 PM  
Yeah, I caught that (six, not two) after I hit the go button. Sorry. I don't think it changes my comment any, leaving your six year old for two weeks is only slightly better than leaving your two year old. Speaking as a parent of a two year old and a five year old.

One of the Rocky Mountain articles quoted the police saying something to the effect that "there are things the kids told us that we can't discuss here"

How long till Mom is on Larry King?
2003-02-14 06:18:29 PM  
Zmiley - Either the mother knows that the kids aren't at her home any more and hasn't come home to check what the hell happened, and she's a negligent, abandoning mother, or else she doesn't know that they're no longer at home, meaning that she hasn't checked up on her kids after leaving them alone for 10 days and she's "just" negligent. Either that or she's dead, and the kids would've been even more screwed if the authorities hadn't found out.

You say you don't want to condemn the woman, but you still haven't suggested a set if circumstances under which this isn't neglect.
2003-02-14 06:19:42 PM  
Machtyn (everyone really) -
One serious point that needs to be stressed is that some children are angels and others are devils. I don't mean that in the strictest sense, but some require more attention than others.

Just because you can take care of your siblings or kids, even at that age, doesn't mean that everyone can. It also doesn't mean that it's ever a good idea to allow someone to do it.

As Chris Rock put it, "You could drive a car with your feet if you want to. That don't make it a good idea."

Even if someone here can tell us that they have done exactly this with no ill consequences doesn't mean that it will always happen that way.
2003-02-14 07:10:59 PM  
the bottom line here, no matter how you try to justify the mothers actions, was she was on VACATION AND LEFT HER KIDS ALONE FOR TWO FARKING WEEKS!!!!!! 6 of them! There was no emergency, there was no NEED.



thank you and good night
2003-02-14 07:12:41 PM  
again I can't farking type!~

/ need to hire proof reader.

2003-02-14 07:14:13 PM  
My mom used to leave us to go to school and work. Most of the time it was all day. My bro and I would go to school, do our homework, clean the house, cook, and hang out. If we messed around, we got whacked. If we drew attention to ourselves, we got whacked. We acted EXACTLY as if she were there. Nothing ever came of it. Of course, one factor that helped was that the neighborhood was really good and quiet. Once, she worried that some pedophile would try to take advantage of two young boys, but I think that really she feared for the pedophile. My bro and I would talk constantly about the various game plans and using stuff around the house as weapons. As young teenagers, we WISHED somebody would break in through the back door and suffer our double-team steak knife/fireplace poker combinations. Oh, the this day, I still look at a clay pot and think "bash skull, pick up shards, stab jugular".
2003-02-14 11:50:26 PM  
Some asshats don't deserve kids, like this farkwit mother. She should be sterilized. Or shot.

2003-02-15 07:34:11 PM  

Boyfriend and Mom:

[image from too old to be available]

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