JPD: Woman arrested for leaving kids age 3 to 5 at home alone

A Jonesboro Police Department patrol car. Photo by Stan Morris.

JONESBORO, Ark. – When a group of young children dialed 911 while playing on the phone, it led Jonesboro police to find them home alone and hungry, a report said. An arrest was made.

On Friday, October 27, JPD Officer Kaitlyn Newby was dispatched to an address in Jonesboro, redacted due to minors being involved. At 7:06 p.m., the call came in that children were on the phone calling 911 while playing. When Newby arrived, she found several young children with no adult supervision. The children were ages three, four, and five. 

Newby asked where the person was who was supposed to be watching the children. Two of the children said the woman, Maurticius T.  Gordon, 24, of Jonesboro, wasn’t there. She had been gone a while, one said. The officer asked the children who was supposed to be watching them. Their answer: the five-year-old was left to watch the other two children.

“You need to leave,” one of the scared children told the officer. “No one is supposed to be in the house. We are gonna get whooped if (redacted) finds out you are in our house. Please leave before (redacted) gets back.”

The children also told the officer they were hungry. The officer had to look for food for them besides candy left on the table.

About 45 minutes after the officer arrived, she reported Gordon returned home. She reportedly told the officer she had been at the laundry mat for “not even 10 minutes.” Newby told her that was impossible, since she had been there for 45 minutes. Gordon stuck with her timeline of 10 minutes.

Maurticius Tanaka Gordon. Source: CCSO

A witness with Gordon said they may have been there longer, since they watched the laundry wash.

The three children were taken into DCFS custody and Gordon was arrested for felony first degree endangering the welfare of a minor. She was taken to Craighead County Detention Center.

She remained in custody as of noon, Monday.

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