The Iowa mother who left her four young children home alone while she took an 11-day European vacation pleaded not guilty in court last week.
Erin Macke, 30, was charged with four counts of child endangerment and one count of transferring a firearm to a person under 21. She pleaded not guilty in a written plea that was filed last week, according to the Daily Mail.
Police say the mother failed to find child care for her four children – two 12-year-old twins, a 7-year-old, and a 6-year-old – before she left for an 11-day trip to Germany on September 20.
One of the younger children called their father the day after Macke left for her vacation, and he called police to check on the children. When officers arrived, they discovered the children home alone, and an unloaded Glock 9MM handgun with two magazines – one fully loaded and the other partially loaded – sitting on top of Macke’s dresser.
The children told police their mother didn’t plan on returning until October 1.
Police called the mother that day – September 21 – and ordered her to return home, but she didn’t return until September 27. Authorities arrested her the next day.
The Iowa Department of Human Services has since taken custody of all four children and placed them in the care of family members.
A judge ordered Macke not to contact her children.
Macke’s ex-husband Mathew, and father of her two youngest children, told Inside Edition that he’s “not surprised” at her “clear, deliberate, intentional act” of leaving the children home alone while she vacationed in Europe.
“If she wants to take a vacation, more power to her. But she has a responsibility as a parent.”
[Feature photo: Instagram]