Mom's NYC 'de-stress' junket leaves daughter home alone

Shawn Kersey is charged with child endangerment.
Shawn Kersey is charged with child endangerment.
Posted: January 11, 2013

AN UPPER DARBY mother faces criminal charges after leaving her 6-year-old daughter home alone so that she could take a bus to New York City to "de-stress," police said.

Shawn Kersey, 35, is one of two Delaware County women who allegedly left their kids home alone last Friday and didn't return until police began to ask questions.

According to Upper Darby Superintendent Michael Chitwood, Kersey left on a bus bound for the Big Apple well before her daughter went to school. At 8 a.m., Kersey allegedly called her little girl and told her to go to the school-bus stop.

Once at school, the girl said something that concerned a teacher, who told an administrator who then contacted Upper Darby police and asked them to check on the girl's well-being at home after classes let out.

They found the young child alone in an apartment that was "filthy, dirty and disheveled," Chitwood said.

The girl told police that her mom went "a long, long way away" to the store and that she had gone on such trips at least five times, Chitwood said. The girl said that her mother told her to hide in the closet if anyone came to the door.

When cops called Kersey at 5:30 p.m., she was on her way back from New York and told police that she would come to the station when she returned.

"She said she took the bus to New York City, walked around and took the bus back," Chitwood said. "She says being a single parent with no support frazzles her mind and this is her de-stresser, to get on the bus and go to New York and leave her child alone."

Kersey was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and recklessly endangering another person. Her daughter was placed in the custody of Children and Youth Services.

In the second case, two siblings, ages 9 and 11, who had been alone at their East Lansdowne house since last Friday, called police on Tuesday and reported their mother, Melissa Melba Brown, missing.

But after police released information about her disappearance, several people called to report seeing her, and she returned home Wednesday afternoon, according reports.

East Lansdowne Police Chief John Zimath was unavailable for comment. Zimath told the Delaware County Daily Times that Brown likely would be charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

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