ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - A 27-year-old Roswell mom is hoping to get her five children back Monday if the Children Youth and Families Department says living conditions at her home are safe enough.
Last week the five kids were taken from their home after police found them living in filthy conditions and without adult supervision.
It's been a long weekend for Nicole Ortiz, the mother of the five children, who says she is just trying to make ends meet.
"I work full time at Walmart. I try to take care of the kids the best I can but there's five of them and one of me and sometimes I just get a little overwhelmed," said Ortiz.
Overwhelmed enough to leave her children by themselves in their house on East Orchard Street for two straight days.
According to Roswell Police the oldest of Ortiz's children got into a minivan with his four siblings last Wednesday and attempted to pull out of the driveway.
The 12-year-old boy driving the van hit a parked car. That's when neighbors called police.
Police say they found the kids home alone with no food and no hot water.
"She's (CYFD official) like they cant live without hot water and I said you think I don't know that," Ortiz told KRQE News 13. "It's not me. It's because I haven't gotten it fixed yet."
Ortiz said her hot water heater stopped working about four weeks ago and that's why her kids were taken away from her not because she's a bad mom.
"You don't understand. I don't take them to bathe here. I take them to my moms. My mom lives on the base. I go to my moms to give the kids a shower," Ortiz said.
But a lack of hot water wasn't the only thing police found in the home.
"Trash throughout the house, on the floor, bugs, dead bugs and some alive. Just filthy," said Roswell Public Information Officer Sabrina Morales.
Police Officials said there was garbage piled throughout the house, cockroaches in the kitchen and childrens' rooms and rotten food that looked like it had been sitting out for weeks.
"My kids room was really dirty. My oldest son is 12 and my littlest one is 3. I'm going to have to teach them to keep it up better I guess," said Ortiz.
Ortiz said she thought it was ok to leave her 12-year-old son in charge of her four other children, but police say it really depends on the maturity of the kids.
"Really there are a lot of factors that go into that. Rule of thumb is 13 years old to stay at home for a brief amount of time," said Morales.
Police say a "brief amount of time" is about an hour, not two full days.
The police investigation continues.
Neighbors told KRQE News 13 they often saw the kids playing outside, but never saw Ortiz with them.
They say she keeps to herself and is rarely at the house.
Roswell Police say Ortiz was at a friend's house visiting a boyfriend for the two days her kids were left home alone.
Ortiz had a meeting with The State Children Youth and Families Department Monday morning.
Sources say she will get custody of her children today with in home support services.
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