Lancaster County Children and Youth Services is conducting its own
investigation into an incident where a woman left her two children alone in a
running car while she was tanning in a salon, according to police.
Elizabethtown police confirmed the CYS investigation Wednesday, but said by law they could not go into specifics.
Neighbors of 28-year-old Krista Mann told abc27 News the Maytown woman is a good mother, but has been under a lot of stress lately. Still, they said, it's not an excuse for leaving children alone.
“There are a lot of people out there who do these types of things and get their kids taken away,” Alesha Saez said. “She's a great mom and she deserves to have her kids, so this is the kind of thing she shouldn't do.”
“It's a mistake and I know she's devastated,” neighbor Trish Rowles said.
No one answered the door at Mann's home Wednesday, but the 2008 white Suzuki described in the criminal complaint was parked in the driveway and a baby could be heard crying upstairs.
According to police, an officer doing parking meter checks Saturday morning found Mann's six-year-old daughter, dressed in her soccer uniform, sitting on the vehicle's center console and Mann's 10-month-old son strapped into his car seat.
The officer asked the girl where her parents were and she pointed to a tanning salon across the street. The car was idling and a front seat window was open about an inch. When the officer inquired further, the girl started crying and told him she wasn't allowed to talk to strangers, police said.
The officer said he found Mann inside the tanning salon after staff told her to get dressed and leave the tanning booth. Police said she admitted to leaving her kids in the car, saying the decision was “stupid.” He asked Mann for her driver's license, but she told him she had forgotten it. Police said they later learned her license had been suspended for DUI.
Mann is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of leaving a child in an unattended motor vehicle, and one count of driving on a suspended license. Prosecutors said if convicted on the suspended license charge, she faces a mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail.
Neighbors said they hope the story will serve as a wake-up call for all parents.
“Please ladies and young girls, don't do it,” Rowles said. “Just keep your kids with you.”