GREELEY, Colo. -- Criminal charges will not be filed against a mother accused of leaving her six children home alone while she took a 17-day vacation to Italy with her boyfriend, prosecutors said Thursday.
District Attorney Al Dominguez said he did not have enough evidence to charge Jennifer Ferrell, 33, with child abuse, although he did not condone her behavior.
Police said Ferrell left Feb. 3 for Italy with her boyfriend. The next day, an anonymous caller alerted police that her son and five daughters, ages 6, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 15, were home alone, prompting a child-abuse investigation.
Greeley police found that Ferrell's parents were taking care of the children when she left for the trip, but had to leave because of medical reasons. Ferrell then made arrangements with church members to be in contact with the 15-year-old, and for the children to spend the two weekends Ferrell was gone with church families.
Child welfare workers have placed the four youngest children with a relative and the other two in foster care while officials determine if the children were neglected.