YOUNGSTOWN -- Police reported a 28-year-old Elm Street woman to the Mahoning County Children Services Board after finding her five children home alone in what authorities described as unfit living conditions.
A 13-year-old girl had been left to care for her siblings, ages 11, 5, 1 and 1 month.
When police arrived about 3:45 p.m. Friday, the girl said her mother had left about 20 minutes earlier and had not told her where she was going.
Police described the apartment as "unfit for human habitation," with inadequate food, broken plumbing, a water-filled bathtub, a backed-up toilet and no beds. Garbage was scattered inside and out.
The woman returned home about 20 minutes after police arrived and said she had been "down the street and around the corner."
Police also informed the city's zoning department of the living conditions.