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Mothers facing felony charges for abandoning children

MIDVALE Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Their children were left home alone and now two mothers are facing felony charges in separate cases.
MIDVALE Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Two mothers are facing felony charges for abandoning their children.

The charges were filed on two separate cases. One mother lives in Midvale, the other in Sandy.

“Ms. Gutierrez had left them ostensibly to go off and run an errand and left them unattended,” says Sim Gill, Salt Lake’s District Attorney.

It wasn’t the first time Gutierrez allegedly left her three year old and four year old home alone.

“They would be by themselves over here by the parking lot,” says Michelle Alvanaz who lives in the same apartment complex as the children.

According to the charging document, Gutierrez told police "she had to go to work for a minute"

Last week, prosecutors filed felony charges against Bobbi Jo Schantz of Sandy for doing something similar.

“It's alleged she was locking her four or five year old child in a room locking the door leaving food and a porta-potty in there and going to work,” says Gill.

Court documents show that Schantz told police "she has to go to work so she left her son ... locked not more than five times."

In both cases, police say the children were physically unharmed.

june saga: “It's so sad that I'm hearing kids being left home alone and they're only 3 years old and four years old,” says June Saga who lives near Gutierrez.

Saga says the woman should have reached out to other mothers in the complex and would have been willing to help out.

As a result, one mother says the mothers put their children’s lives in danger.

“There's a lot of concerns,” says Elizabeth Alvanaz. “They can get hit by a car, they can get stolen, a lot of things.”
Both women are facing third degree felony charges.
In the case of Guitierrez she’s been charged with six felony counts of abuse or neglect. Schantz was charged with multiple counts of abuse or neglect as well.
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