An Iowa woman appeared in court on Tuesday following her arrest last week for going on a planned 12-day European vacation and allegedly leaving her four young children — ages 6 to 12 — home alone.
Erin Lee Macke, 30, has been officially charged with four counts of child endangerment. In a video of her Tuesday court appearance from local TV station RTV6, Macke seems to indicate that her aunt and uncle were watching the children on the last day that she was in the country.
She has been released on $9,000 bond and will be arraigned on Nov. 2. She has not yet entered a plea to her charges and has reportedly said the allegations against her are untrue and that she did not leave her kids alone.
Court records obtained by PEOPLE do not list an attorney for her, and she did not return a call for comment.
Last week, Johnston, Iowa, Police Department Lt. Lynn Aswegan told PEOPLE that officers were first called to Macke’s home on Sept. 21 after receiving a report from the father of two of her children that she had left the day before for a 12-day vacation in Germany.
“There was nobody lined up to be with the children,” Aswegan said. “Apparently she had talked to a couple of family members that earlier on had some conflicts watching the children during that time-frame, and she gave them the indication she had it taken care of.”
According to Aswegan, “She felt comfortable that the kids were responsible enough to take care of themselves during that duration.”
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Macke was reportedly in Germany visiting a brother and a niece and “[by] all indications it was a social venture,” Aswegan said.
He said that the children had been left alone for 24 hours before police went to Macke’s apartment after 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 and found her 12-year-old twins and two younger daughters, ages 6 and 7, home alone.
“When the officer arrived, the 12 year-old did have food on the table and was preparing to feed the younger two children,” Aswegan said.
According to police, Macke was also charged with one count of transferring a firearm to a person under 21 after officers found a gun and ammunition on Macke’s bedroom shelf.
The Iowa Department of Human Services took custody of Macke’s children after they were found alone, Aswegan said, and they were staying with relatives, according to the Des Moines Register.