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Hempfield woman faces child-endangerment charges

| Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 3:21 a.m.

A Hempfield Township woman was charged with child endangerment after one of four children she allegedly left home alone was nearly struck by a car.

Heidi Jean Henry, 33, of Green Hills Trailer Court, Millersdale Road, was charged by state police at Greensburg with four counts of endangering the welfare of children in the June 20 incident at the trailer park.

According to a police affidavit, trailer court owner Amy Chesla told troopers she was driving through the park at 3:30 p.m. when she nearly struck one of Henry's children. Police said the child was in the middle of a road at the time.

When Chesla went to Henry's home to advise her of the child's whereabouts, other children at the residence said no adults were home. They said their mother had left with another person and they were uncertain when she would return.

Police said they discovered three boys, ages 6, 4 and 3, playing outside the mobile home. They entered the residence when one of the youngsters indicated his baby sister was inside.

The trooper found a 14-month-old child in a crib in a back bedroom. According to the affidavit, the child was wearing a dirty diaper and there was a strong odor of fecal matter in the room. The diaper of the 3-year-old child also needed changing, and police reported finding fecal matter smeared on a toilet seat.

The children's father, Matthew Henry, address unavailable, was working at the time, according to the affidavit. He told police that Heidi Henry was supposed to be watching the children.

Police called the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau, which according to the affidavit advised the trooper that Heidi Henry is on parole through the county's adult probation office and is not to have contact with the children.

According to the affidavit, Heidi Henry returned to her residence by 8:50 p.m. June 20. Police allege she had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath, but was taken into custody without incident.

Heidi Henry was arraigned in Westmoreland County Night Court and placed in the county jail in lieu of $10,000 bond. She faces a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Mark Mansour, of Hempfield Township, tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday.

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