Woman arrested on child neglect charges after allegedly leaving her young children alone for over an hour

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Orlethea Cecila Plowden, 28, was arrested yesterday and charged with three counts of child neglect after allegedly leaving her three young children home alone for over an hour.

An Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy responded at about 5:50 p.m. to a call about three children outside with no adult supervision. The caller reported that at one point, the two youngest children were in the roadway while the oldest, who is 5 years old, was “begging and crying for his two younger sisters to come inside.” The younger children are 2 and 3 years old. The caller said that the children’s mother had left at about 5 p.m.

The deputy reported that the three children were still outside when she arrived, and the oldest child was still crying; no adults were present at the home. The deputy found a phone number for the mother in a law enforcement database and reportedly called twice with no answer. At about 6:10 p.m., Plowden pulled into the driveway.

The children’s father arrived shortly after Plowden and reportedly said he does not live with Plowden and the children and that Plowden has primary custody of the children, although he sometimes watches the children while she works and runs errands. He reportedly said that she had not asked him to watch the children that day.

Post Miranda, Plowden reportedly said that she had gone to get a pizza for the children, and she estimated that she had been gone for about 20 minutes. She said the children were asleep when she left and that she knew that didn’t “make it right.”

Plowden has been charged with three counts of child neglect without great bodily harm. She has no criminal history; bail information is unavailable in the court filing system because the victims are juveniles.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • And yet because we have no legal way to sterilize this woman, she will probably have at least 2 or 3 more children by the time she’s done partying. I’m telling you there needs to be rules for people who don’t take care of their children in a gross fashion; we ought to find a way to not allow women like this to continue to have more babies.

  • Looks like another successful test of the LBJ Great Experiment.

  • Sounds more like she was going to get another bun in her oven.

  • 1. Fathers don’t “watch” aka “babysit” their children. They parent their children. He doesn’t do the mother any favors by “watching” them so she can get pizza for five hours. He was taking care of his children.

    2. Ma’am, for the love of pizza….where is the pizza? If you just left to get it 20 minutes ago, it should be hot and ready. People will disappoint you, but pizza never will. Did you get saucy with a pile of pepperoni? We know the pizza dude is the best dude 😉

    3. I hope the “pizza” was worth it. Might not be as good as at the 3333 but THEIR father can TAKE care of them since your priorities are a little out of whack.

  • This shouldn’t even be a story. It was an unfortunate situation for everyone involved. Most namely the children. Hopefully she learns her lesson and don’t do it anymore.

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