A mother of nine children was arrested after Guam police officers found seven of her kids, ranging from ages 3 to 13, left alone in Agat on Thursday.
Kristy Ann Garrido, 33, was charged with seven counts of child abuse as a misdemeanor.
According to court documents, officers found three of the children walking along the road by themselves in the Pagachao area, and one of them was not wearing any footwear.
The oldest of the kids, 13, allegedly told officers that they were walking to their relatives' home because they had not seen their parents in several days.
Officers noted the young children were dirty and smelled as if they had not bathed in quite some time, documents state.
Police learned that four other children were still at home alone, court documents state.
One of the children allegedly told police that she awoke on Wednesday to find that she and her siblings were left alone at their residence, adding that they fed the siblings cans of chili, Spam and rice to survive.
That same child told officers that the siblings set out to find their mother and father the following day, documents state.
When officers arrived at the residence, they realized they had been there several times over the past four years because of concerns about the neglect of the children, documents state.
Officers found that children inside the home had not been bathed for some time, and that the residence smelled strongly of human feces and trash, documents state.
Police later located the suspect, who allegedly told authorities that she left with her partner and one of the children to bring milk to their oldest child, 16, and the teen’s newborn baby when their car broke down in Mangilao.
She said they were not able to fix it and had to sleep in the car, documents state.
The mother's 16-year-old and 14-year-old children did not live in the home with the younger siblings, court documents state.
The Child Protective Services Section of the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services was contacted and took custody of all nine children, documents state.