LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) — A mother arrested after police found her children alone at an Ohio motel while she was at work has prompted both criticism and an outpouring of support on social media.
Shaina Bell, the mother of three children, is accused of leaving her two daughters — Faith, 9, and Jade, 3 — in a Motel 6 room in Liberty where she’s been living. Her son, Jai’Sean, 7, was not with them.
“My kids bring me joy. They make me laugh. They’re my world. I would never do anything to harm my kids. My kids are everything to me,” Bell said. “That’s all I do is go to work and take care of my kids. That’s all I do.”
Bell was arrested a week ago at her job at Little Caesars.
“I had to go to work. My daughter decided that she wanted to stay here. My daughter told me that this is where she wants to be, and I felt that she was old enough to be able to stay here with her sister for a few hours because my job is right down the street,” Bell said.
Bell faced two misdemeanor charges of endangering children and spent the night in jail after her children’s father called police.
Her story gained nationwide attention, both from supporters and people condemning her.
“A lot of people are saying hurtful things, but a lot of people are also being there for me and showing great support,” she said.
She says she’s embarrassed by the situation but not angry.
“I never set blame on anybody for anything because at the end of the day nobody left my kids in the hotel but me,” she said. “I’ve cried a couple of times since this situation started. I’m just trying to keep a level head and trying to stay strong because that’s all I can do.”
A GoFundMe account was set up for Bell and her children with a goal of $5,000. By Friday, it had raised over $140,000.
“I didn’t ask for that, but people gave it to me, and I’m just over appreciative to what’s going on,” Bell said, adding that she’s going to use the money to buy a house for her children.