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Mother charged after allegedly locking her four children in a basement for 12 hours

She now faces charges of false imprisonment.

Image: 6ABC

A MOTHER HAS been charged by police in Philadelphia after allegedly locking her children in a basement without food or access to a bathroom for as long as 12 hours.

Police said the alarm was raised in the early hours of Sunday morning when one of the children called 911, WPVI reports, on a phone the mother had given them.

The station said that firefighters who gained access to the house through an upstairs window found four children aged between 9 and 13 in the basement.

The woman, Charnae Lee (29), is now facing charges of unlawful restraint and false imprisonment.

Lee told police that her children had been placed in the basement with their mattresses as punishment, according to NBC. However, she then went to work, without realising the door was locked.

Neighbours described her as a “very kind lady”.

“She’s a very disciplined mom. And really, honestly, we’re all shocked,” Victoria Sipes told NBC, “because it doesn’t seem like something that she would do.”

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