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7-year-old reports younger sister left home alone

Mother facing child endangering charge

YOUNGSTOWN — Tiarra A. Collins, 27, of Manhattan Avenue, was arraigned Monday on misdemeanor child endangering after her 7-year-old daughter told her bus driver a younger, toddler sister was alone Friday at their West Side home.

A Youngstown police report states a bus driver stopped at the 7-year-old’s house at 8:10 a.m. to pick her up, but the child would not get on the bus because of the toddler being alone.

Eventually the child got on the bus and was taken to school. When a Youngstown officer arrived at the house, the bus and older child were gone.

Officers found an unlocked door in the rear of the house and heard a child crying inside. They found the child, 20 months, on the landing of the second floor. An officer brought the child to the first-floor living room and placed her on a couch.

Ambulance personnel arrived and determined that the child was in good health but needed a diaper change. An ambulance worker changed the child’s diaper.

Officers saw suspected marijuana on a sectional couch on a white box with rolling papers. The evidence was collected. Calls were placed to identify a relative of the child, but none were found, so Mahoning County Children Services was contacted to come to the scene.

A Youngstown officer went to the 7-year-old’s school. The girl said her mother left earlier in the morning to “do some hair.” She gave the younger child’s name and birthdate.

After children services arrived at the home, Collins returned home at 9:30 a.m. The initial call about the toddler being left alone was placed at 8:11 a.m., police said.

Collins was arrested on a charge of child endangering. Officers found marijuana in Collins’ purse.

Collins advised police that she left her brother to watch the baby. Police contacted a Boardman officer, who determined that Collins’ brother was in school at 7:55 a.m., and the boy lives in Boardman. Because no one would be home when the older girl finished school, officers gave children services permission to pick her up from school and take custody of her. Collins was released from the county jail Friday, according to jail records.

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