YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An Ohio woman is accused of leaving her young daughters alone in a motel room while she worked at a pizza shop, authorities said. The woman’s mother, meanwhile, has been raising money to find a place to live for the suddenly homeless family.
Shaina Elizabeth Bell, 24, of Liberty Township, was arrested Feb. 11 and charged with two counts of child endangering and creating risk, according to Trumbull County online booking records. Bell was released Friday.
Bell pleaded not guilty to both counts, WMFJ reported.
According to police, officers acting on a tip found a 10-year-old girl and her 2-year-old sister alone at a Motel 6 in Youngstown after 6 p.m., the television station reported.
The older child told officers that her mother was at work and expected her to return by 10 p.m.
Police found Bell at the pizza shop, and she allegedly told officers that she usually has someone check in on her children hourly while she is at work, according to WMFJ.
Bell’s mother, Danielle Hosey, started a GoFundMe page for her daughter on Sunday.
“Shaina is a single mother of three young children,” Hosey wrote. “She works hard and she loves her family very much.”
After acknowledging her daughter’s arrest and the charges against her, Hosey wrote that Bell was “in need of immediate housing.”
“We understand that everyone has a story and we are grateful that you are listening to ours,” Hosey wrote. “From the bottom of our hearts we not only appreciate the financial contributions, but also the outpouring of support in the form of kind words and understanding.”
As of late Wednesday, more than 3,200 people had pledged more than $108,000, according to the fundraising page.
Bell is scheduled for another court hearing in April, WMFJ reported.