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Police were called to the Johnston home of 30-year-old Erin Lee Macke on September 21 after receiving a report that children had been left unsupervised, the Des Moines Register reported. The firearm charge was added after police found a gun was in reach of the children while they were unsupervised, KCCI reported. She was scheduled to get back to the US on October 1st.

Police told Macke her children were turned over to DHS and convinced her to come home early.

Police received a tip from the father of one of the children.

Social media posts suggested it was a social trip, Johnson Police Lieutenant Lynn Aswegan said.

Iowa state law does not specify any age or time limit for leaving children alone, but parents must provide for their children's safety, said Amy McCoy, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Iowa law does not require children to be a certain age to be left alone, but the law defines child endangerment as "a person who abandons the child or minor to fend for themselves, knowing the child or minor is unable to do so".

It's a situation that still boggles Tompkins' mind.

"We think leaving your kids at home at any age is a risk, from young children up to teenagers". She made no arrangements to provide supervision of the children while she was away, according to police. Any parent is going to worry, no matter what the situation is, when you leave your kids at home. They have since been discharged to the care of relatives, Wilwerding said. She was released from jail after posting $9,000 bond.

Macke, 30, is not allowed to see her children while she waits for her October 9 court date.


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