Franklin woman accused of sending children on cold, unattended walk

A Franklin woman is facing charges for sending three children unattended to pick up diapers from another house in Franklin almost half a mile away.

Franklin police said in a criminal complaint they responded to the area of Little Caesar’s Pizza at about 9:30 a.m. Oct. 7 where three unattended children were walking up Liberty Street.

An 11-year-old girl was pushing a stroller with a two-year-old girl in the stroller while holding the hand of a three-year-old boy with no adults present in the area to supervise them, the complaint said.

The 11-year-old identified the two small children’s mother as Rachel Nolf, 20, of Franklin, the complaint said.

The complaint notes the children were all dressed in short sleeve shirts and shorts though the temperature that day was about 40 degrees and overcast with a “stiff breeze.”

In addition, the small child in the stroller wasn’t wearing any shoes or socks and wasn’t covered with a blanket, the complaint said.

The 11-year-old, who is not Nolf’s daughter, told police her mother was at work and that she was taking the children from her house on Buffalo Street to the children’s grandmother’s house on Liberty Street, a distance of almost half a mile, to get diapers for the 2-year-old, the complaint said.

The 11-year-old told police that no one was home at the children’s grandmother’s house and that she was just going to get the diapers and then walking them back to her house, according to the complaint.

The 11-year-old also told police Nolf was at the 11-year-old’s house on Buffalo Street, the complaint said.

When Nolf arrived at the scene half an hour after police called her, she admitted to having the children walk to the house where she and her children live with her mother, the complaint said.

She added that she didn’t want to walk with the kids and “didn’t think there was a problem with the kids walking by themselves,” the complaint said.

The 11-year-old girl’s mother told police she didn’t give her daughter, who was home sick from school, permission to leave the house, the complaint said.

The 11-year-old’s mother added that Nolf was a friend and that Nolf and her three children had stayed the night at her house with her three children, the complaint said.

The girl’s mother also confirmed that Nolf had been the only adult home when she left for work that morning, the complaint said.

Nolf has been charged with two felony counts of endangering the welfare of children and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of children.

She was arraigned Friday, and her preliminary hearing is scheduled Oct. 28 in Venango County Central Court.