Couple Arrested for Allegedly Leaving 3 Kids Alone in Des Moines Hotel Room

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Manuel Ceballos Cordero and Lizet Villalobos (WHO-HD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa – A mother and her boyfriend were arrested Wednesday after police say they left three children alone in a Des Moines hotel room for several hours.

Police say 31-year-old Lizet Villalobos and 27-year-old Manuel Ceballos Cordero are each charged with three counts of child endangerment-abandonment.

According to online court documents Villalobos and Ceballos Cordero left the children – ages 10, 8, and 1 – alone in a room at the Quality Inn at 4950 NE 14th St. Wednesday. The 10-year-old was expected to care for the other children.

The kids were left without food and had no way to reach the adults in case of an emergency.

Staff at the hotel called police about the situation and when officers arrived, they found the kids “visibly scared as they did not know where their parents were.”

When Villalobos and Ceballos Cordero came back to the hotel, almost four hours later, Sgt. Paul Parizek says they were not cooperative with police and gave a vague story about where they had been.

The children are now in the care of the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Villalobos and Ceballos Cordero are being held in the Polk County Jail on the state charges as well as on a federal retainer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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