Mother Arrested for Leaving Daughter, 12, Home Alone for a Week

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True

A New Jersey mom has been arrested for being a runaway bride of sorts, but instead of leaving her fiancé, she left her 12-year-old daughter.

Sarah Haines, 31, was arrested for second-degree endangerment after leaving her daughter home alone and flying to Washington state to get married, the Star-Ledger reports.

Before her daughter left for school on June 3, Haines -- who is a single parent and has sole custody of her child -- told her daughter she was leaving at noon to get married and that she would be back on June 6. Haines contacted her daughter again last weekend to say that her flight was canceled and she would have to take a bus home, according to the arrest affidavit.

Haines left her daughter $10, "plenty of food and drinks" to take care of herself and three pet dogs and a note saying a friend would check in on her, the affidavit states. The friend checked in on her on June 5, 7 and 8.

The girl reportedly "had been afraid to shower because she was scared since the front door unlocks itself," the paper reports.

Someone noticed the girl was alone and alerted authorities, and the state Division of Youth and Family Services asked Mount Olive police to conduct a welfare check of the girl, the Star-Ledger reports. Police found her alone in a messy apartment that was permeated by the odor of animal urine, according to the affidavit. DYFS does not comment on cases, and it is unclear where the child is being held.

Haines told police she "could not provide a reasonable explanation" for leaving the girl alone and "admitted making a 'mistake' and that she had been 'selfish,'" according to the affidavit.

If Haines is able to post her $100,000 bail, she is barred from contact with her daughter and must follow DYFS recommendations.

Haines' father, who is estranged from his daughter and hasn't seen his granddaughter in months, says he hopes the situation will bring them together.

"Maybe this will reunite us with daughter and granddaughter," Peter Haines tells

Related: Parents Arrested for Giving Their Kids Home Tattoos

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