A Southern California woman was arrested for willful cruelty to a child after she allegedly left her 4-year-old daughter at home and went on a trip to San Diego, sheriff's officials said.
On Monday, neighbors of 28-year-old Bing Chen reported hearing a child crying about 3 p.m. in the apartment complex in the 10900 block of Terra Vista Parkway in Rancho Cucamonga, a town about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department officials said.
Tanner Kurete, a 9-year-old neighbor, heard the girl's screams while he was playing outside with his friends.
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"We knocked on the door and she came to the front door and answered, 'Mommy, mommy,' jumping and screaming, 'Mommy, mommy. I want my mommy,'" Tanner said. "I went and told my mom."
When the night manager checked the location, he found the girl in one of the apartments with no adult. The child told deputies that her mother was at work, then later said she thought her mother was sick and went home.
When deputies called the child's father, who was overseas in Taiwan on a business trip, he told them the mother was supposed to be there, taking care of the child.
Two hours later, Chen arrived back at the house.
Through an interpreter, she allegedly told deputies she went to San Diego with her friends and said it was okay to leave the child at home alone because she left food for the child and instructions on when to eat and go to bed.
Officials said the mother had not arranged for someone to care for the child.
"I can't imagine how anybody would ever do that. I wouldn't leave my kids home alone for an hour - 10 years old - let alone 4 years old," said Tanner's mother, Amy Kurete.
The mother was taken to West Valley Detention Center for willful cruelty to a child, a felony. The child is with Child Protection Services.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department (909) 477-2800. Those wishing to remain anonymous may contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com.