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Local News

Police: Joliet mother briefly ditches children in casino parking lot

Harrah's Casino on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Joliet, Ill.
Harrah's Casino on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Joliet, Ill.

JOLIET – A Joliet woman allegedly left her two children alone in her car while she paid a visit to Harrah’s casino, police said.

About 7 p.m. Wednesday, Joliet police cited Melissa Vance-Prince, 32, of the 500 block of West Bellarmine Drive, on a charge of leaving children unattended in a vehicle in connection with the incident.

Vance-Prince left her two children, a 1-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, alone inside of her 2009 Chevrolet Impala, which was parked on the second floor of the Harrah’s casino parking garage, Joliet Deputy Police Chief Ed Gregory in an email.

Gregory said Vance-Prince left the car running.

An Illinois Gaming Board agent reportedly spotted the children on camera and notified Joliet police. Vance-Prince was allegedly away from her car for about nine minutes.

When asked if Vance-Prince was gambling or where she had gone for nine minutes, Gregory said it is “unknown” and not stated in the police report on the incident.

Vance-Prince is scheduled to appear in court May 3 to answer the charge.

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