A Georgia mother of five, Melissa Henderson, is facing charges of reckless criminal conduct. This comes after letting her 14-year-old daughter Linley take care of the rest of her kids.
She made the unusual decision after the children's daycare she was using was closed due to COVID in May 2020.
Problems started when Linley was too distracted by online learning to see what her four-year-old brother, Thaddeus, was up to. The small boy had managed to get outside the house unnoticed.
He went to play with his friend, whom he had seen outside the house.
Thaddeus was perfectly fine even though his bigger sister didn't notice she had been missing for about 15 minutes. The only problem was that his friend's mom had called the police and told them how reckless Thaddeus' mom was.
After two weeks, Melissa was put under arrest as her children watched. She was facing charges of reckless criminal conduct.
If the court finds her guilty of the crime, she could spend a year in jail and pay a fine of $1,000.
According to the officer making the arrest, Thaddeus could have easily ended up as a kidnapping victim. He could also have been lost in the woods or gotten a dangerous snake bite.
At the moment, there is already a GoFundMe page to help cover Melissa's legal fees. The campaign has already raised about $50,000.
According to the GoFundMe page, the arrest and prosecution facing Melissa are unnecessary.
The page also claims that Georgia DFCS Guidelines allow "children thirteen years and older, who are at an adequate level of maturity" to be left on their own. Reportedly, they may also act as babysitters for up to 12 hours.
Those who set up the page wonder why the charges would be brought against Melissa a year after she was booked.
Some of Meissa's supporters fully understand her plight. One of her supporters, a single mother, understands how Melissa would be torn between working to support her family and not working only to lose her ability to pay rent.
On several occasions, another single mother of three related how she had to make tough decisions about her child's care. She was sorry for Melissa over what she was going through and hoped that the woman who had called the cops on her would regret what she had done.
The woman swore that, under the circumstances, she would have offered to help instead of calling the authorities.