A Cameron Park mother is behind bars after she left her children home alone while she ran an errand and deputies found them playing in the streets.
Cameron County Sheriff TMs Department deputies arrested 22-year-old Maria Esmeralda Martinez on three counts of child abandonment on Sunday.
Investigators told Action 4 News that it all happened at the intersection of Avenida Nanette and Avenida Katarina around 11:06 a.m. Sunday.
A deputy on patrol saw one child pushing two others in a little car.
The children told the deputy that they were going to the store and that they didn TMt know where they mother was.
A woman helped the deputy find the crying children TMs home on Avenida Jeffrey.
A man identified as the children TMs TM uncle said he had been asleep and didn TMt know where their mother was.
Martinez returned home a few minutes later and told deputies she meant to be gone for 15 to 20 minutes while she went to pick up some money somebody owed her.
Court records show that Martinez did not tell her brother-in-law or any other adult that she was leaving.
The Cameron Park mother appeared before Cameron County Magistrate Judge Patricia Edelstein on Monday morning where she was issued $15,000 in bonds.
Jail records show that Martinez remains in custody for the three charges as well as a U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer.