Deputies: Mother leaves 3 young children home alone while at internet cafe

Erica Hester charged with child neglect

By Corley Peel - Reporter

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A mother is charged with child neglect after she left her three young children home alone while she went to an internet cafe, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

The incident happened in early September, but Erica Hester, 27, was just arrested Monday, deputies said. 

Deputies said Hester dropped her two 3-year-olds and 4-year-old at the Whispering Woods Apartments and left to go to an internet cafe about 10 p.m. Sept. 2. 

A couple hours later, deputies were called just after midnight by a driver who said she had nearly hit the children, who were found walking along the side of County Road 207 near the entrance of the apartment complex, according to the arrest report.

Hester later told deputies she thought her 14-year-old child was at home and was going to watch the kids, but she never checked to see if her teenager was actually at home, which wasn't the case. 

According to the arrest report, Hester admitted that she made a bad decision leaving the children and not double-checking that her kids had supervision.

Hester was booked into the St. Johns County Jail, but has since posted $2,500 bail.

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