ROUND ROCK, Texas – A Texas mother has been charged after she allegedly left her five young children for several days last summer to take a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
In August 2018, 28-year-old Chrystal Walraven allegedly left her 15-month-old daughter with her other children, ages 3, 6, 10 and 12 years old, according to an affidavit obtained by the Austin American-Statesman Tuesday.
Police waited to arrest Walraven until Feb. 11 because they “needed to conduct a thorough investigation to make sure we had evidence,” Rick White, a Round Rock police spokesman told the paper.
Walraven told investigators she went to the beach town to look for a job and “because she needed to get away with everything that was happening at home,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Police believe that she also went to visit a male friend in Myrtle Beach, KXAN reported.
Round Rock officers performed a welfare check at Walraven’s home after an elementary school principal learned that one of the children was tired from staying up all night changing diapers, according to the affidavit.
A 10-year-old boy opened the door for officers, who said there was an overwhelming smell of feces and garbage in the home, flies in the kitchen and knives within reach of the children.
According to the affidavit, the officers thought the 15-month-old girl lying under a motionless blanket might have been dead, but the child started breathing when an officer rubbed her.
After Walraven returned to Texas, she told KXAN in an interview that her neighbor and the father of one of the children was supposed to be caring for all five. That father said he told Walraven he couldn’t do it, but she left anyway.
Her current husband had moved out of the home several weeks prior and moved out of state, according to police.
Walraven faces two felony counts of second-degree abandoning or endangering a child, court records show.