Mom leaves kids alone in car to attend party

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Vanessa Tsinajinnie By Jennifer Thomas Vanessa Tsinajinnie By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe police officers arrested a 25-year-old Surprise woman after she left her young daughters in a car and went to a party.

Just before 5 a.m. Monday, the Tempe Police Department received a call that two young children were walking alone on the sidewalk near Priest and University drives.

Officers arrived and found the girls, ages 4 and 2. Police said they were cold, crying and one of them was walking without shoes.

Police located their mother, Vanessa Tsinajinnie, wandering around an apartment complex looking for her daughters.

She told the officers that she arrived at 12:30 a.m. and knowingly left her children sleeping in the car, adding that they normally sleep through the night. Court documents say she just wanted to "have a good time."

Tsinajinnie said she left the keys on the passenger seat with the ignition off and planned on checking on the kids after an hour.

Residents at the complex said the party got wild.

"A couple of neighbors were woken up out of a dead sleep around 3 o'clock in the morning from noise, people running, screaming, splashing..." Ashley Moore said.

Police said Tsinajinnie displayed signs and symptoms of alcohol impairment and admitted drinking. A breath test showed a blood alcohol level of .126.

Tsinajinnie was booked into Tempe City Jail and is currently facing two counts of child abuse.

The children were turned over to a family member at the direction of Child Protective Services, according to police.

A former neighbor said this isn't the first time Tsinajinnie has misplaced a child. A few months ago at an apartment complex near Peoria and 43rd avenues, Tsinajinnie's oldest daughter walked out of the door and was missing for several hours. Police were called and the girl was found in good condition nearby.