Mother charged with leaving child home alone

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A woman from Upper Darby has been arrested and charged with leaving her 6-year-old daughter alone to fend for herself all day.

Shawn Kersey is facing endangerment charges surrounding her 6-year-old daughter.

"I was wrongfully arrested. In my opinion, I was abused horribly at the police station," Kersey said.

Police say she left the child home alone in an Upper Darby apartment building to fend for herself for a full day, to get to and from the school bus stop in the heart of the town, and to get in and out of the apartment all on her own.

The principal sensed something was amiss and called police, as did neighbors who heard the child crying.

Police say Kersey had caught a Greyhound bus to New York City early that morning.

When they later called the mother's cell phone, they found her back on a bus heading home.

"Went up to New York for the day because she was stressed out and she needed some time by herself because it was difficult being a single parent and not having any help," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

Police say the apartment was filthy. The child was sleeping on a mattress on the floor with a dangerous space heater nearby.

"You leave a child in harm's way because you're stressed out and you've got to go New York?" Chitwood said.

Police say the child claims the mother has left her home alone like this four times.

Released on $40,000 bail, Shawn Kersey denies the allegations she left her daughter alone.

"No, I did not. People were here with her. People walked her home from school," Kersey said to Action News.

Police turned the child over to Child Welfare Services late last week.

<P Kersey is due in court for a hearing next week.

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