Police: Children left alone while mom goes to casino, mom arrested

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) -  A Dayton woman was behind bars Tuesday after police say she left her young children home alone while she went to the casino.

According to a police report on the incident, officers were called to a home in the 3100 block of West Riverview Avenue around 2:20 am Tuesday after a neighbor called 911 and reported 29-year-old Rashena Smith had left her children, an 8-year-old and a 2-year-old, home alone. The woman went to the neighbor's house to retrieve her identification card she had previously left there.

The neighbor told police he asked Rashena Smith where her children were and she told him they were home sleeping on the couch. The neighbor told officers he warned Smith if she left her children alone he would call the police but she left anyway.

The neighbor also told police the heat is not working in the apartment but Smith told him she left the oven on with the door open for heat.

Police went to Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway on Needmore Road and found Smith playing slot machines. Officers noted in the police report that Smith appeared to be "jovial" and "appeared to be having a good time."

One of the officers asked Smith where her children were and she responded they were fine and were sleeping on the couch when she left. Smith told police she had only been gone an hour.

Officers drove Smith to her home and went inside to check on the children. The report states the children were sleeping on the floor of an upstairs bedroom on a deflated air mattress with no blankets. The report also notes the house was "very dirty with debris and dust laying [sic] all over the floors."

"The bedrooms had almost no furnishings and dirty clothes were strewn about," the report continues.

Police found the oven door open and the controls turned on. The officers noted the refrigerator was "bare and too unsanitary to store food."

Children Services was contacted and police learned Smith has an older daughter that ran away two or three weeks ago, and that Smith never reported the child missing. She was found staying with a neighbor down the street where she has been for at least the last week.

Smith is now in the Montgomery County Jail being held on three charges of child endangerment. She is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

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