Parents arrested for leaving 11-year-old daughter home alone for 'almost a week' while they attended concert 1,300 miles away
The pair left their daughter in Houston to travel to Detroit to see English rock band Godflesh play live
A Texas couple has been arrested by police for leaving their 11-year-old daughter alone at home so they could travel 1,300 miles to attend a concert. The parents, 48-year-old John Guerrero and 39-year-old Virginia Yearnd, were apprehended by the police on Monday when they returned to their Houston home from a concert by English rock band Godflesh in Detroit, Michigan. According to court documents, they left for the concert on Wednesday, August 22, leaving their pre-teen alone for almost an entire week.
The Houston Chronicle, citing a statement from the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, reported that the pair has been charged with felony child endangerment. The crime came to light after the child's great-aunt discovered that the 11-year-old had been left alone at home and alerted authorities to the parents' absence on Thursday morning.
Deputies who arrived at the home found the girl trying to cook for herself. Police then attempted to contact both Guerrero and Yearnd on several occasions, but failed to reach the pair. After finally getting through to the mother, they were informed that she and Guerrero were in Louisiana. However, she later confessed that they had, in fact, traveled to Detroit to watch Godflesh perform live.
Virginia Yearnd and John Guerrero a Houston, Texas couple face 20 years jail after abandoning 11 year old daughter for days so they could go to Godflesh concert in Detroit. https://t.co/TQoLkZW4wi— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) August 28, 2018
Yearnd also told the cops that she had asked her sister to check in on her daughter, but that was quickly debunked when the girl told them that she was on her own. Moreover, the 11-year-old informed the police that this was not the first time she was left alone and that she did not expect her parents to return till the midnight on August 24. She is currently in custody with a neighbor.
The Texas Penal Code states that a parent — or anyone else who has custody or care over a child under the age of 15 — can be charged with child endangerment if he or she "intentionally abandons the child in any place under circumstances that expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm".
Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said both parents have been booked into the Harris County Jail with no bond. Child protective services are also looking into the incident, though that will be only one of the parents' worries. If convicted of the crime, the couple could face as much as 20 years in prison.
But it seems there is another side to the story. A neighbor who did not want to be identified told ABC13 that both were good parents. "I know them as good parents, very hard working. He travels, his job is to go set up concerts so I'm sure that he was working and not just going to a rock concert."