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      Mom accused of leaving kids at WalMart while she went to work

      Kelly Lee Gonzales // Harlingen Police Department Photo

      A young mother is facing criminal charges after being accused of leaving four children at a local WalMart while she went to work.

      Harlingen police arrested 22-year-old Kelly Lee Gonzales on four counts of child abandonment early Friday morning.

      Investigators told Action 4 News that police officer were called to the WalMart store off West Lincoln Avenue around 1:45 a.m. Friday.

      Witnesses told police that four children ranging from 2 to 14 years old had been wandering at the front of the store for at least three hours.

      Police learned that Gonzales left her 2-year-old girl and 5-year-old son with her 9-year-old and 14-year-old nieces at the store around 9 p.m. Thursday.

      Gonzales told police another family member was supposed to pick them up and she returned to work.

      Investigators said that the older children were unable to control the younger children, who kept running into traffic outside the store.

      Officers contacted Children Protective Services who released the children into the custody of a family member.

      Gonzalez appeared before Harlingen Municipal Court Judge Michael Zanca who issued a total of $10,000 dollars in bonds.