Aunt charged with cruelty to children after kids found unattended

Florine Murdock (Charleston County Detention Center)
Florine Murdock (Charleston County Detention Center)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 32-year-old woman was charged with cruelty to children after police found two children playing on a second story porch unattended in downtown.

The Charleston Police Department arrested Florine Murdock. On Thursday afternoon, a probation agent visited a home on Nassau Street and located a 7-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl playing on the second story porch unattended.

Police then responded and spoke to the boy who said his aunt was watching him and had to go to the store. He said he was not sure what time she left because he had been sleeping.

When officers went into the home a phone began ringing. An officer said he answered the phone and introduced himself in attempt to locate a guardian. The individual then hung up the phone without speaking to the officer. Several minutes later the phone rang again and the caller identified herself as Florence Murdock.

She said she was at Knight's Grocery on Hanover Street filling out an application for a free phone. An officer then picked her up and drove her back to the home. When officers asked her how long she had been gone, Murdock said just a few minutes.

Police then told Murdock that officers had been at the home for more than a few minutes. Murdock then said she may have been gone for 25 minutes.

Authorities told her to be honest and she then told officers that she had been gone for maybe an hour. According to a police report, Murdock admitted to calling the home both times and hanging up the first time because she was scared.

Murdock said she sometimes watches the children and understood what she did was wrong.

Investigators say because the children were located on the second story porch and there were no restraints from protecting the girl from falling down to the concrete ground, Murdock was charged with cruelty to children.

The children's grandmother took custody of the children.

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