Police: Mother jailed after leaving five kids alone with limited amount of food

Sarah Robinson

A 24-year-old Columbus mother was arrested around midnight Wednesday after allegedly leaving her five children alone in the Columbus Inn at 3170 Victory Drive, according to a police report.

Lythea Sharay Smith, the mother, was apprehended on the scene 2 p.m. Wednesday and charged with five counts of second-degree cruelty to children. She is being held without bond in Muscogee County Jail for a 2 p.m. Friday hearing in Columbus Recorder's Court.

Police said they responded to the hotel around 12:20 a.m. Wednesday after someone reported that the children were in the hotel unsupervised.

Officials determined that the kids, whose ages range from 4 months to 5 years old, were in the hotel room alone for a "long extended period of time." A police report indicates that they were unsupervised for at least 20 minutes but were unharmed.

Authorities said the room was "in deplorable condition" and the children had no clothing and a limited amount of food.

Police said the mother was living in the hotel with her children.

— Sarah is a crime & safety reporter at The Ledger-Enquirer. You can contact her on Twitter at @SarahR_92.