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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