PALM HARBOR — Mary S. Jackson left home Saturday afternoon to break up with her boyfriend, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
As she went out the door about 5 p.m., she told her four young children that she would be back soon.
Saturday and Sunday passed, and she didn't return.
The Sheriff's Office received a tip from someone who knew what was happening and on Monday, two days after allegedly leaving the kids at home alone, Jackson, 30, was arrested. She now faces four counts of felony child neglect.
Authorities said that the four children in the house, all girls, were ages 12, 10, 7 and 6.
The Sheriff's Office said some food had been left out for them to eat while Jackson was gone.
But the conditions inside the Palm Harbor home were dirty. Trash was piled up in bags and boxes. Dishes sat in the sink.
The children are now staying with someone they know — the Sheriff's Office would not say who that person is.
Jackson was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.
She entered a not guilty plea in court Tuesday.
Jonathan Abel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4157.