Grace Pressey gave kids sleeping pills so she could go to work, police say

Electricity to home had been disconnected

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – A South Florida mother is facing child neglect charges after she gave her children sleeping pills and left them alone in a home without electricity while she went to work, police said.

Grace Pressey was arrested on five counts of child neglect.

Lauderhill police said Pressey routinely left her two sons and three girls, ranging in age from 7 months to 7 years, home alone, feeding them sleeping pills and Nyquil while she worked her overnight shift.

Police said electricity to the home had been disconnected Feb. 10.

An anonymous phone call led police to the home Tuesday. When officers knocked on the door, the oldest of the five children opened the door and told them their mother had gone to work and left them home alone, police said.

According to the police report, Pressey told detectives "she is a single mother and it is hard to do things with all her five children, so she leaves them alone multiple times when she has things to do."

Pressey said she knew she was taking a major risk and did not think she would get caught, but she said she had no other choice and needed to go to work so she could pay the bills, the report stated.

Two of the children were placed in foster care. The others are in the custody of their grandmother.