Police: Mom Left Kids Alone At Mall For Nearly 13 Hours
GREENSBURG, Pa. —
A Westmoreland County woman is accused of leaving her three young children at a mall for nearly 13 hours on Monday.
State police said Melanie Wanner, 33, of Greensburg, dropped her children off at the Westmoreland County Mall at 11 a.m. and didn’t pick them up until almost midnight, after the mall closed.
Police said they found the children, ages 5, 9 and 14, shivering and hungry on a bench outside the mall.
“My neighbor dropped them off, I didn’t leave my kids,” Wanner said. “I love my kids. She was supposed to pick them back up and she never did.”
Investigators said Wanner's children were at the mall to spend their Christmas money.
"I sat here and waited and waited,” Wanner said. “I was a nervous wreck. I can't drive my car because it's not inspected."
Police said when Wanner didn't pick them up, her oldest child called her repeatedly but she didn't answer the telephone.
“The mall should not be used as a day care,” State Police corporal John Tamewitz said. “You shouldn’t be dropping your children off at that age for that extended period of time and expect them to fend for themselves.”