Harrison Co. mother accused of leaving kids home alone


by WHAS11


Posted on May 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 7 at 7:21 PM

HARRISON CO., Ind. (WHAS11) -- A 911 call about an overflowing toilet led police to a case of alleged child neglect in Southern Indiana.

It happened in Harrison County.  Police say a pair of 9-year-old twins were left alone for 16 hours while their mother worked in Indianapolis.

“My dad doesn't live here. My mom is at work in Indianapolis and she can't take us cause we'll get smushed by a truck,” the 9-year-old girl told 911 dispatchers.

It started as a frantic call for help in New Salisbury.  But dispatchers quickly learned the children were home alone.

“My mom locked me in because of my dad,” the 9-year-old said. “He wants to take us and they are going to court stuff.”

The fire department in Harrison County had to help the sheriff’s department gain access to the house.

“The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to this home in New Salisbury.  Sheriff’s department was not able to make entry through a door they had to utilize the fire department to make entry through a window,” Otto Schalk, Harrison County Prosecutor, said.

The March 25 incident ended with Deborah Van Wormer turning herself into police Monday night, May 6.

They say she went to work at a U-Haul repair facility in Indianapolis and left her kids locked in their home with clothes covering space heaters.

The 9-year-old twins say she usually works from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“Two 9-year-olds were locked inside a home, no means of escaping what so ever at the end of the day that lead us to where we are at today,” Schlak said.

The mom is charged with neglect but is out of jail now. WHAS11 went by the house to talk to her but no one answered.
Neighbors close by were shocked.

“I couldn’t believe that people would leave the children at home by themselves and they should be charged with leaving the kids at home,” Harold Gardner, who is a nearby resident, said.