Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Mom Leaves 19 Kids Alone in Hot House, Police Say

Jackie Farah. Police photo.

Police in Bowling Green, Ky., say mom Jackie Farah, 32, and her boyfriend Irving “Joe” Smith skipped town on June 27 when a sweltering heat wave rolled through, leaving 19 children home alone with no air conditioner or food.  The kids, ranging in age from 8 months to 14 years old, had been in the house for about a week by the time police arrived.  The children were removed from the home and treated at a local hospital before being turned over to the state. According to a neighbor, 13 children lived in the house full-time and six cousins were visiting for the summer. There were also nine dogs and a cat in the house — police say there was an inch of animal feces covering the floor.

Farah is charged with 14 counts of first-degree child abuse and five counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Authorities say Farah had asked neighbors to check on the kids while she was gone, and was on her way back to Bowling Green from Chicago when the children were discovered.

Last week, a Kentucky dad was arrested for leaving his toddler son in the back of his scorching hot car. Police say Kenneth Robinson, 31, forgot to drop off his two-year-old son at daycare and instead left him in the back of his car while he was at work.  When police arrived following a call from a concerned passer-by, the temperature in the car had exceeded 100 degrees. Robinson is charged with a felony count of wanton endangerment. The child was rushed to the hospital where he was released in good condition after an overnight stay.

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