Woman arrested for leaving children unattended, threatening CYF worker

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh woman is facing charges after police say she left four of her children home alone and then threatened a Children, Youth and Families worker.

Laura Barney, 32, was charged with five felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanor terroristic threats and misdemeanor resisting arrest after the incident on Tuesday on Marlow Street in Pittsburgh’s Elliot neighborhood.

Police said a CYF worker went to the home for a meeting and found that Barney was not there, though four of her five children were found at the home alone. The children range in age from 4 to 9 years old.

According to the criminal complaint, the CYF worker told police she didn’t see the oldest child, a 12-year-old, but he could have been in the basement where she believed he stayed.

Police went looking for him and found what the officer called deplorable conditions, including several puddles on the floor, the smell of filth and a great deal of gnats. But the boy wasn’t home.

The caseworker told police she repeatedly tried to contact Barney and tell her that CYF was preparing to take her kids.

“Ms. Barney told her, ‘Do what you gotta do,’ before becoming angry and threatening to ‘cut’ her when she got home,” according to the court documents.

Barney told police she was at the nail salon while her children were home alone. The children were taken to Mercy Hospital to be checked out.