PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police have identified and charged a Philadelphia mom who is accused of locking her children in the basement of their home for more than 12 hours.
Charnae Lee, 29, is charged with four contacts of: Unlawful Restraint, False Imprisonment, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Recklessly Endangering another Person.READ MORE: Pennsauken Police Searching For Hit-And-Run Driver Who Killed Shadid Fauntleroy While Crossing Route 130
Police responded to a home on the 1900 block of E. Atlantic St. around 1:30 p.m. Sunday after receiving a 911 call from a juvenile stating that he and his three siblings were locked in the basement of their home.
Authorities had to use force to enter the home through a second-floor window.
When police gained entry, they found a 13-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl, a 10-year-old girl and a nine-year-old male locked in the basement of the home.
Authorities say the children told them they were instructed by their mother at about midnight on Sunday to carry their mattresses down to the basement and stay there.READ MORE: Upper Darby Mayor Unveils Plan To Resolve Battle Over Control Of Summer Stage
The children did not have access to food, running water, the bathroom or heat. They were able to contact police with a cell phone that could only dial 911.
The children had no visual injuries and were transported to St. Christopher’s Hospital for evaluation.
Investigators were able to contact Lee, who was at work at the time, and took her to the Special Victims Unit.
According to investigators, Lee told them she did tell the kids to get their mattresses and take them to the basement and stay there for disciplinary reasons; however, she told police she did not know the door was locked.MORE NEWS: Man Robs 16-Year-Old Girl At Knifepoint At SEPTA Station, Police Say
People who know Lee say she is going through a divorce and was handling all four children by herself and working.