The following photo of Anlleila Melendez was provided by the West Haven Police Department.
WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -
A West Haven mother was arrested after police said she went to the grocery store and left her 2-year-old and 3-month-old home alone.
Police received a report of a "child yelling for his mom" from an apartment on Coleman Street on Friday morning.
"I just saw the cops, that was it," said neighbor Samantha Taylor.
When officers arrived, an unidentified neighbor told police that a child was calling for his mother out a window for about 20 minutes.
Police were unable to get into the home and check on the girls because the door was locked.
While interviewing neighbors, police said the mother, who was identified as 29-year-old Anlleila Melendez, walked with milk, which she told police she went to get from the store.
"If you need milk that badly, why wouldn't you just bring the kids," said neighbor Sandra Skorzewski. "I know it's a hassle to pack them up and lug them in the car. But you need to do that if you feel it's necessary to get the milk that minute."
Once inside the apartment, police found that the 2-year-old was left to roam free and the 3-month-old was sleeping in the crib. The air-conditioning in the apartment was on, police said.
Police determined that Melendez was gone from the apartment for 40 minutes. Both girls were uninjured, according to police.
Melendez, who police said was apologetic, was arrested and charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor.
The children were given to their grandmother and the officials with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families were notified about the incident.
Neighbors told Eyewitness News that Melendez has been at the apartment complex for four years and they were shocked by the accusations, especially in light of all the recent cases of unsupervised children here in the state.
"Anything could've happened, a fire, fell out the window, anything could've happened," said neighbor Kimberly Mathis. "That's why you're the parent. You're supposed to supervise your child."
However, at least one neighbor told Eyewitness News that Melendez appeared to be a " good mother" and seemed to have put her kids first.
"Every time I see her leave, I see her take her kids with her," said a neighbor, who wished to not to be identified.
Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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