A night on the town landed a Mission mother behind bars after leaving her two young children home alone for 12 hours.
"In cases like this there is zero tolerance," Mission Police Sgt. Manny Casas said.
Sgt. Casas said leaving children unattended is a common crime but it's surprisingly rarely reported.
"This is terrible, the worst thing anybody could do is leave your children," he said.
Last Friday, 24 year-old Denisse Arleth Gomez left her one and five-year-old children alone inside her apartment at the 2000 block of Graham Avenue in Mission at about 9:30 p.m.
Police said Gomez later admitted she went clubbing with friends and stayed the night at a hotel in McAllen.
Twelve hours went by before the older child was found on the balcony hungry and dirty.
"A good Samaritan found these children outside crying and asking for their mom in Spanish," Sgt. Casas said.
The neighbor called police fearing the children's mother may have been kidnapped.
But at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning Gomez was dropped off.
"They (police officers) immediately noticed she was wearing high heels and she was dressed up like she's getting ready to go to the club," Sgt. Casas said.
Gomez initially told police she was at the store buying diapers, but with no proof of the trip she told investigators she left her children unattended while she partied.
"There is no doubt that they (the children) were in danger," Sgt. Casas said.
When officers entered the apartment, they found dirty dishes and clothes and found a kitchen knife on a counter near an unlocked back door.
Now police are asking the public to take a stand against parents who leave their children unattended.
"If you don't want to be part of it fine," Sgt. Casas said. "But you may save the lives of children like these."
The children are now in the custody of their grandmother.
Gomez remains behind bars on two counts of child endangerment with a $400,000 bond.
If you suspect children are being left unsupervised, call your local police department.