A woman arrested by Mundelein police on child endangerment charges said Sunday that her five kids accidentally locked themselves out of the house and decided to walk to their grandmother's two blocks away.
"It was a misunderstanding and unfortunate situation all around," Monyca Hill said. "My children went outside to pet a dog and got locked out."
Hill, 29, and her husband, Aaron, 32, both of 643 Countryside Highway, were arrested about 9:15 a.m. Thursday.
Police said a motorist reported the kids - ages 3 to 8 - were playing in the street about 9 a.m.
Police went to their home, and it took several minutes of knocking to wake the parents.
Monyca Hill said she and her husband, who works from home, were up all night tending to their 3-year-old son, who had a fever.
Hill said the children went outside about 8:30 a.m. to pet a bulldog that belongs to her friend, and the door locked behind them.
Instead of ringing the bell, the children, led by Hill's 8-year-old daughter, began walking to their grandmother's house.
Hill asked her eldest daughter why she went to her grandmother's house.
The reply: "I just wanted to let you sleep because you were up late."
Hill said officials from the Department of Children and Family Services have visited her home three times since the incident and have concluded the children are not in danger.
She also noted that since Thursday, she's installed security system with loud door alarms.
"I did it for my own piece of mind because this will never happen again," Hill said.
Hill, who called in sick to work that day, said she crashed hard after being up nearly all night.
She acknowledged she didn't know where her kids were, but she said her kids would never go into the street, and a neighbor didn't see them in the street either.
"I'm not this bad person I'm portrayed to be. I'm a good mom. I'm extremely involved in my children's lives (volunteering at school and Girl Scouts)," she said. "My family's been hung out to dry here."
The couple are due in court Aug. 25. Monyca Hill also was charged with resisting arrest.
A Mundelein police spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.