Deputies: Mother charged with leaving her kids at park to get a tattoo

Ana Lisa Lara (Photo: Washington County Sheriff''s Office)

Deputies arrested a mother accused of leaving her two young children alone in a Cornelius park on Saturday while she got a tattoo.

The kids — ages 3 and 8 — are both OK and are currently with a family member.

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According to deputies, 28-year-old Ana Lara of Hillsboro left her kids alone at Harleman Park in Cornelius Saturday afternoon. A family member found the kids a while later and called the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

When Lara came back to get her children, deputies placed her under arrest.

Deputies believe she left the kids to go to a local tattoo parlor.

“I was here before and after, me and my wife, spend a lot of time here. To know that had happened here, is just devastating,” Ron Hogue told KATU News Monday. “I feel sorry for the kids.”

A neighbor who lives near the park hoped Lara received help while she was in jail.

“I don’t agree with leaving your kids behind like that,” Irene Pfander said. “Kids are more important than a tattoo, any day of the week, anytime.”

According to court records, Lara does not have a criminal record.

A relative told KATU by phone they noticed a change in her behavior seven or eight months ago. They said they tried to help, and are worried about her recent decision-making.

Lara was booked into the Washington County Jail on two counts each of first-degree criminal mistreatment, second-degree child neglect, and recklessly endangering another. Her bail is set at $10,000.

Lara posted bail and is expected to appear in court later this month.