Mother accused of leaving children alone in motel room in court

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A woman accused of leaving her two children alone at a Salt Lake City motel for several hours while she attended a concert made her initial appearance in court Wednesday.

Lizette Salgado, 23, was formally charged August 23 with abuse or neglect of a disabled child. The charges stem from when her two children, ages 1 and 3, were found wandering the parking lot of a downtown Motel 6 in early August.

Sim Gill, Salt Lake County District Attorney, said they charged Salgado with felonies because her kids could have been kidnapped, hit by a car or otherwise harmed.

"So they were just very small, and that is one of the reason we charged it that way, is because when you are that young you are not really capable of taking care of yourself, so hence we say a disabled child," he said.

Gill said they became aware of the problem when other guests at the motel saw the children wandering in the parking lot and told hotel security.

"A security officer made contact with these children and helped them back to their hotel room to only discover this 1-year-old and 3-year-old had been left without any adult supervision," Gill said.

After the hearing, Bailiffs arrested Salgado and she was taken to jail on a warrant. She is due back in court for a bond hearing in September.

Officials with Utah Child Protective Services said they cannot comment on specific cases, but officials said in situations like this they make every effort to place children with family members.