GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say three children were taken into protective custody after their 30-year-old mother left her kids unsupervised for several hours while she went to downtown Charleston to meet friends.
The Goose Creek Police Department charged Staci Michelle Perivolaris with unlawful conduct towards a child. The incident started early Friday morning when police were called out to a home at Liberty Hall Plantation.
A jogger told police that he gave two children, a 10-year-old boy and 9-year-old boy, his phone to call their mother who they eventually were not able to contact.
Officers then attempted to make contact with the kids at the home. Authorities noticed that the door was unlocked and announced that they were police when they entered.
Officers then made a security sweep of the house, where they found the two boys hiding in a closet in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Officers say they also found a 6-year-old girl in another room sleeping on her bed and found no adults inside.
The boys told the officers that their mother left the home several hours ago and they did not know where she was. The children said they asked the jogger for a phone since their phone was not working after they were attempting to contact their mother and broke the phone.
Police were able to contact the mother at which time officers explained the situation and she agreed to come home. When the mother arrived, police asked her if she would be willing to answer questions and provide a written statement to which she agreed to.
Officers asked her if anyone was supposed to be watching her kids and Perivolaris said her babysitter was supposed to be watching them. Perivolaris said that she left the home to go to downtown Charleston with some friends and told police that the babysitter agreed to watch her children for several hours while she went out.
Police asked her if she was employed and she said that she was unemployed and dependent on government assistance and an occasional part-time job for money. According to authorities, police asked her when the last time she bought food for the kitchen was because they noticed it was nearly empty. She told police it had been three weeks.
The Department of Social Services was called to the scene to speak with the mother. When authorities asked Perivolaris when the babysitter arrived, she said she did not physically see her arrive at the home.
Perivolaris said she assumed that the babysitter would be at the home shortly and left for downtown Charleston. Authorities say the children were left without adult supervision for six hours with lack of sufficient food inside the home.
Police say they concluded that Perivolaris placed the children at unreasonable risk of harm affecting their lives, physical or mental health and safety. The children were then taken into emergency protective custody and turned over to the Department of Social Services.
The mother was then arrested and transported to the Berkeley County Detention Center.