Woman arrested for leaving kids at home while going 100 miles to Holiday World

Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Contributed by Jeff

West Terre Haute Police say Tonya Smith was arrested after she left her 7 and 10-year-old children home alone, and made the 100-mile trip to Holiday World with her boyfriend.

Read more from WFIE/Evansville.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 6:12 PM
Rick_UK's avatar

Carrie M. said:
I suppose if the house is rat-infested then they weren't exactly left home alone...

Always seeing the brighter side of life Carrie....

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:19 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:50 PM
sws's avatar

She should have just hitched the trailer home to the back of the pick-up and taken the whole family to Holiday World.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:28 PM

Jeff said:
I'm still trying to take in the "with her boyfriend" part after seeing that mug shot. (/me does Home Alone face)

My thoughts exactly. This kids would only get in the way when it was time to tap that in the back of the Bronco afer the funnel cake frenzy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:40 PM
LostKause's avatar

I was left home alone with my little Sister around that age, while Mom was at work about a mile down the road. Little Sis is three years younger than me, but she's such a badass, I'm sure that we were safe.

Mom would call every hour or so to make sure that we were okay. She came home on her breaks too. Sis is a very good cook, even at the age of 9, so I was well taken care of.

I rode the public bus alone around that time too. Heck, I'd ride that bus to the city (Huntington) and shop and get a haircut, alone, at 12-years-old. ...Or to Camden Park with a schoolmate for the whole day. ...Or to the public pool. It was no big deal back then for kids to be independent.

These days, you wouldn't hear of a kid around that age being allowed to do anything like that alone. I blame the media, creating hysteria. ;)

My Mom, by the way, is awesome. She always took us somewhere fun every weekend. We had a lot of fun as a family, almost everyday. Sis and I both have wonderful childhood memories.

So anyways, this lady...this lady sucks. Those kids will get much better care and probably be happier in a foster home. I just hope that they didn't get split up. That would be a shame.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 8:14 AM
Rokuchan's avatar

Juggalotus said:

Carrie M. said:
I suppose if the house is rat-infested then they weren't exactly left home alone...

Since the kids are neither ninjas nor turtles, I don't think the rats make a suitable guardian.

You, sir, are my new hero ;)

I was 'latch key' from the age of 7 and up because my mom was single and working two jobs, but my dad lived, literally, a few blocks away in case of an emergency. Sounds like these kids had a rough go of it though, which sucks.

...just looked at the picture. O_O; eek.

Last edited by Rokuchan, Thursday, July 22, 2010 8:15 AM

I hate people. But I love gatherings. Isn't it ironic?

Thursday, July 22, 2010 8:35 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I too was left home alone starting around age 10ish, though not often because my sister was still home and she was in her late teens by then. But my grandmother lived about 8 or 10 houses down, my aunt and uncle lived across the street (as did a close family friend), and my neighbors would have made sure nothing bad happened as well, but that was 20 years ago (Gosh I feel old saying that). On that same street now, my grandmother isn't there, my aunt has passed, the family friend is gone, and the street went to crap with loads of drug addicts/dealers moving in as the rest of us moved out, so it would be a different story.

Granted, looks like this woman was one of the bad people that moved in, so this is much different.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 8:41 AM

sws said:
She should have just hitched the trailer home to the back of the pick-up and taken the whole family to Holiday World.

I live in a trailer and you need a special truck to move it.
Also they do not leave the wheels (or tongue) on in most cases.
I am a single dad of a 15 year old who lives with me and I don't leave him behind .He doesn't ride so we wait in line and he steps thru train when we get on.


Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:08 AM
kpjb's avatar

Yeah, because he was totally serious...


Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:57 AM
The Mole's avatar

Everyone was left home when they were younger. The difference is the utter lack of care for the wellbeing of the kids (highlighting the fact the house was filthy) and being *so* far away.

My parents have left me and my sister alone when they would go to a night at the theater and dinner, but we always had two or three neighbors phone numbers, money for pizza, and my neighbors would know that they had left just so they could keep any eye out.

This "lady" didn't seem to prepare the kids for being alone and then drove over 100 miles away. Lice and rats or not, that's worthy of being raised on child abuse. If my parents did that, even in our affluent neighborhood and expensive homes, there would be some serious ramifications for it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 12:03 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

It's one thing to leave the kids at home and drive 100 miles for work. But to leave the kids at home and drive 100 miles to go to Holiday World...Holiday World!...a very kid/family oriented park...well that's just mindboggling.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 3:42 PM

Think of the uproar if they went to SFGAM, AND they purchased a Q-bot!

Ummm, just thinking, if the kids had lice, don't you think Ma's got them too? Lord, I hope Holiday World doesn't have to start giving out free RID.


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