Three preschool children found home alone in Spokane

Three preschool children found home alone in Spokane »Play Video
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A preschooler who called 911 on Thursday to report "mom and daddy go bye bye" helped authorities find three young children left unattended in a home with drug paraphernalia.

A 34-year-old woman, the mother of two of the children, was arrested when she showed up later after a gambling trip, Spokane police spokesman Officer Bill Hager said.

The children - ages 4, 3 and 2 - were taken into custody by state Child Protective Services workers after spending as long as four hours by themselves.

Jennifer K. Rigutto told authorities she had left the two boys and a girl with her ex-husband about 5 a.m. to go gambling with her boyfriend, police said.

"I would never, never leave my children alone," Rigutto said.

The case came to light when child protection workers called the house for a welfare check, and one of the children answered the phone, Police Lt. Darrell Toombs said.

As CPS workers headed to the home, one of the children called 911 and said, "mom and daddy go bye-bye," Hager said.

Rigutto was being investigated for child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, Hager said.

William "Shad" Smith, 35, identified as the woman's ex-husband, was arrested Thursday evening and booked into the Spokane County Jail for investigation of three counts of second-degree child abandonment, Hager said.

Police also sought the boyfriend, the father of one of the children, Hager said.