Lancaster woman accused of leaving 2 children alone while visiting Philadelphia

LANCASTER — A 31-year-old Lancaster woman is facing charges after police say she left her two sons, ages 9 and 7, home alone for several while she visited Philadelphia, according to Manheim Township Police.

Dominique Simone Waters is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in connection to the incident, which happened on Jan. 11, police say.

According to police, an officer was summoned to Waters’ residence at 8:54 p.m. for a welfare check call. The caller told police that there were two children home alone at the location.

Police found the two boys alone in an apartment. The boys told police their mother, Waters, was in the hospital. Police found several handwritten notes addressed to the boys on the dining room table. The notes had a day and night schedule, rules to follow, and contact phone numbers, police say. A cell phone was found on one of the boys, according to police, but the battery on the phone was dead. The boy told police he did not know where the charger for the phone was located.

Police also found several prescription pills on the table, which one boy said were their “sleeping pills.”

According to the criminal complaint, police contacted Waters and learned she was in Philadelphia. She allegedly told police she was staying with “a friend,” and that she may be admitting herself into a hospital the next day. Waters said she had paid a neighbor to watch the boys while she was gone, according to the criminal complaint.

When contacted by police, the neighbor said that Waters had unexpectedly contacted her earlier that day to ask for a ride to the Lancaster Train Station. While traveling to the station, the neighbor said, Waters asked her if she could drop off food for the boys at the apartment and periodically check on the boys while she was away, the criminal complaint says. The neighbor said Waters did not give her any money to care for the boys, and did not ask her to stay with them.

Police interviewed Waters again on Jan. 29 at the Manheim Township Police Station, the criminal complaint says. Waters told police that on Jan. 11, she was having a stressful day and decided to go see her sister in Philadelphia. She told police she gave the neighbor $40 to check on the boys while she was gone, but acknowledged she did not tell the neighbor to stay with them.

Police filed the charges against Waters on Monday.