Girl left home with toddler calls 911; Dad arrested

Man returned home drunk, Volusia deputies say

Parents who left their children home alone to go out drinking are now under DCF scrutiny.
Parents who left their children home alone to go out drinking are now under DCF scrutiny.

DELAND, Fla. – When a frightened 12-year-old who was left home alone to care for her toddler brother called 911 about intruders, deputies arrested her father after they said he came home drunk.

The deputy's report said Michael Henry and his wife were at an American Legion in DeLand, when deputies called to say their daughter was frightened about possible intruders lurking in her back yard. Instead of rushing to their daughter's aide, the report said it took the parents an hour to get home from the bar that is only two miles down the road.

"There are three cars in my backyard and I don't know who they are and my parents aren't home," said the 12-year-old to the 911 dispatcher. "They're coming in my backyard and they're just sitting there!"

The frightened girl called deputies when strangers drove up and walked around her backyard while she watched over her 2-year-old brother. The police report said, "her parents were 'out at the bar' like they usually are in the evenings" and that "she is scared of being left home alone with her brother, and it has occurred many times in the past."

"That really concerns me because you hear about all these reports of child abductors, people sneaking into houses taking kids," said one concerned mother nearby who asked to not be named. "I can only imagine how the kids were terrified."

Michael Henry had nothing to say to Local 6 about why he left his children home alone while deputies think he and his wife drank. When they finally got home, deputies charged Henry with D.U.I and cocaine possession.

It's still unclear who those strangers were in the child's backyard or what they were doing.

The Department of Children and Families is investigating.