Texas mom arrested for leaving her 8 kids, going to Africa

January 30, 2008

HOUSTON - A woman accused of leaving eight children with little food and no money while she travelled to Africa to marry a man she met on the Internet has been arrested.

Shanell Mosley, 33, was met by authorities as she got off an Air France jet Monday at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Harris County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. David Crain said Tuesday.

Charged with child endangerment and child abandonment for leaving the children in squalid conditions, Mosley was expected to have a lawyer appointed for her at a Wednesday court appearance.

After the children were discovered alone in the home in early January, officials learned Mosley went to Nigeria to marry an Internet acquaintance.

When she left for Nigeria on Dec. 31, Mosley told her 15-year-old daughter she would return in a month, child welfare officials said.

Prosecutor John Jordan said Mosley's six children, now in foster homes, were starving and her older children couldn't recall their birth dates.

Mosley's children are ages one, seven, eight, nine, 15 and 16, Jordan said. The other two children found in the home were three-and four-year-olds the family cared for on behalf of a single father who worked, Jordan said.

The nine-year-old son told authorities he and the baby ate a still-frozen pizza for breakfast the morning they were discovered home alone. There were no diapers, baby food or formula for the infant, no sheets on beds and fruit was rotting in a basket, Jordan said.