Mom Charged After 2, 4 & 5 Year Olds Found Walking Down Highway

The mother of three young children who were found walking down an Onslow County roadway Sunday morning has now been charged with six counts of child abuse.

Lilia Salinas was arrested this afternoon by Onslow County deputies. Lawmen say while their mother was sleeping, the three--ages 2,4 & 5--packed up and left their home for a trip to their grandmother's in Oklahoma.

A woman on her way to work spotted the children and was concerned that they were not dressed for the weather and there was no adult with them. She stopped, and ended up taking the three to her workplace, Monster's Pizza, where police were called.

The 22-year-old Salinas was charged with three counts of misdemeanor child abuse and three counts of contributing to a juvenile being neglected. Her bond was set at $4,000.


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Deputies are trying to figure out how a 2, 4 and 5 year old were able to wander down a busy highway Sunday morning.

The marketing director for Monsters Pizza says she saw the children walking down Canady Road while on her way to work. She picked them up and took them her to the business on Hargett Street where they called police. Jacksonville police turned the case over to deputies after learning the children were found out in the county.

The employee told WITN that the children were telling authorities multiple stories, including that there were going to get cigarettes, and getting on a bus to visit their grandma in Oklahoma. One child had a backpack with toiletries inside, while the others had bags with toys and other belongings.

The Sheriff's Office says they are continuing to investigate how the children got out of their house.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 04:16 AM
    This is why we have chains on all doors that lead outside. They're always in place! Little kids can't reach them, even with a chair. All it takes is a few seconds and your world is changed forever. We had to put hook latches on the outside of the bathroom doors after my son developed a major fascination with the tub and wanted to play with water.
  • by kattwoman Location: Greenville on Mar 11, 2012 at 01:55 PM
    Something really wrong had to be going on for those three young kids to want to pack up and leave home. If the Grandmother wants to take them in and raise them then the authorities should let them go.
  • by GRANDMA FROM OKC on Feb 23, 2012 at 09:15 AM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by someone who knows on Feb 23, 2012 at 12:35 PM in reply to GRANDMA FROM OKC
      and the father was no better yall dislike what she did but have yall thought about where the father/husband was?
      • reply
        by OKC on Feb 24, 2012 at 08:51 AM in reply to someone who knows
        I've said the father is not much better. He has his issues. The ONLY time those kids ever knew love was when grandma in OKC was with them. I think someone is jealous of the love those kids have for her. And that is so very sad. If you loved those kids, you would do the right thing.
        • reply
          by someone who knows on Feb 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM in reply to OKC
          you know that is a lie.they had plenty of LOVE. y would i be jealous ? i know for a fact they love me with all there little hearts.what would be the right thing for the kids? surely not with the father or mother. where they r right now is the best place for them.
      • reply
        by OKC on Feb 24, 2012 at 02:03 PM in reply to someone who knows
        I just want whats best for the kids. Oklahoma City is where they need to be. You are right about one thing, they don't need to be with that selfish little girl or that self absorbed little boy (their mother and father). Neither one of them has grown up.
        • reply
          by someone who knows on Feb 26, 2012 at 07:42 AM in reply to OKC
          As do I.Where there are is where they need to be.I agree with you neither one of them has grown up.
  • by Skylar Location: Allen on Feb 22, 2012 at 04:44 PM
    Really? All of you people are defending this ignorant woman? Three happy children don't just pack their bags and leave. She was asleep and completely oblivious to what was going on. She seems like a horrible mother.
  • by just a young girl on Feb 22, 2012 at 04:08 PM
    um...? How are some of yall gonna sit here and blame the kids when they are 5,4, and 2? Obviously the mom should have been...well a mom. but that just hpw i look at it.
  • by These are our moms? Location: ENC on Feb 22, 2012 at 07:40 AM
    It's troubling to see how all the moms out there are defending this woman. We see the problems our society faces through these posts. Parents today are not doing the job they need to do...... period. It's not my fault... Oh....kids will be kids....etc.. And we wonder why our youth today is failing.
    • reply
      by and.. on Feb 23, 2012 at 08:12 PM in reply to These are our moms?
      why do you think that is? could it be that the parents of those parents also failed at their jobs? its a never ending cycle which you cannot blame on a generation alone. each generation begets the next, if you want to play that blame game. by the way, im one of those moms, who judged according to the story presented and not insider information--kids will do some crazy things, and even us good parents have had close calls. we don't control our children because you cant control another human being, you can only teach them. i do my best, but its technically up to the kids to decide if they want punishment or reward! im glad you think its so cut and dry. its not as easy as it looks. what job do you think im failing at, exactly???
  • by Julie McGhee Location: OKC on Feb 21, 2012 at 10:27 PM
    Thank you for them kids. They had a hard life. This miracle that should of happen along time ago. I sincerly thank you Crystal. I'm there great aunt. I seen some awful things. Their are much better off in dhs coustdy. I love them babys. Im just grateful you found them. Thank you very much! Your just an angel.
  • by Thank goodness on Feb 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
    Thank goodness a responsible adult found the children and took them to safety.
  • by Call on Feb 21, 2012 at 01:21 PM
    Salina, you need a good man like me...
  • by Anonymous on Feb 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM
    I was 22 with 3 children also. 18 when I had the 1st, 20 for the 2nd, and 22 for the last. My children were well behaved & I worked the night shift. But kids do have a wild imagination. All they wanted to do was see Grandma!
    • reply
      by WIC on Feb 21, 2012 at 01:18 PM in reply to
      You probably collected WIC and Medicade.. Am I correct?
      • reply
        by geez on Feb 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM in reply to WIC
        so what! she was putting into the system by working the night shift! i hope she did have extra help!
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