The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) launched a two-week investigation into a mom who allowed her 8-year-old daughter to take their dog for a walk around the block.
Corey Widen, 48, from Wilmette, Illinois, got a visit from police on Aug. 2 after an anonymous call came about her daughter taking the family dog for a walk without adult supervision.
A neighbor reportedy called authorities after seeing the girl alone with the dog, ABC News 9 reported.
Report: Mother investigated by police after letting 8-year-old daughter walk dog alone: https://t.co/AsGcBK4Zbs pic.twitter.com/lrHXmRDIdT
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) August 25, 2018
The caller told police the child was less than 5 years old, and had been outside and unattended for 90 minutes.
Police questioned Widen about how long the girl was gone walking their Maltese puppy, Marshmallow.
Widen said the child was gone less than five minutes and that she could see her the whole time, ABC News 9 reported.
Widen also has a 17-year-old son.
The police visit was brief, and it was determined nothing criminal had occurred. No charges were filed against her, IJR Red reported.
Because of an additional anonymous call two days later for the same complaint, DCFS became involved; its neglect investigation was much more in depth.
They interviewed Widen’s children, extended family and even the child’s pediatrician during the two-week investigation.
They contacted Widen’s lawyer to inform him that they had ended the investigation.
DCFS said in a statement, “The hotline narrative said the caller reported that the child was 5 years old or less. The caller reported calling police before about the girl playing in a parking lot. We went out and investigated, and the investigation has already been unfounded. We don’t control the calls that come into our hotline. Something made someone think there was a concern, and we don’t know without checking it out.”
Widen, who is a home-school mom, justified her actions and said, “For something like this to happen to me, there’s something really wrong.”
Widen told police that she could see her daughter during most of the walk from her windows and when the child is walking the dog, it is the only time she is alone.
“The funny thing is … I’m a joke with my friends because my kids are around me all the time,” Widen said.
The Chicago-area mom is happy the investigation is closed, but said she will not change the way she parents and still plans to let her little girl walk Marshmallow.
“No one will dictate my parenting choices,” she said.
Widen posted series of events on Facebook and heard back from other parents that said they have gone through similar investigations, PEOPLE reported.