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Local mother alleged to have left six children alone appears in court

Mom alleged to have left six children alone appears in court
Posted at 3:45 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-19 01:29:23-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The mother of six children under 10 years old alleged to have left them alone for five days appeared in court Thursday.

Nautica Dunning appeared for an adversary hearing to answer claims of child abuse or neglect in County Court at Law #5.

Ruben Tijerina, attorney for Dunning, said that she was not contesting the removal of the children and wants to work on reunification once she has been released from the Nueces County Jail.

Tijerina added that her not contesting the removal was not a statement of guilt regarding any pending criminal allegation.

"She wants to work toward services and is looking forward to being able to do so," he said.

An attorney representing two fathers of the children, Mark Stolley, told the court neither father was an offending parent in the allegations. He said one of the fathers is currently in the Nueces County Jail and unable to "accept or care for the children until those matters are addressed," but he also is interested in reunification.

Currently, the six children are placed in three foster homes in the surrounding area. The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is working on coordinating visits between siblings.

County Court at Law Judge Associate Judge Martha Huerta ordered Thursday temporary managing conservatorship be given to DFPS, meaning the department takes temporary custody of the children. Huerta also ordered status quo placement to continue for the time being.

While several family members and friends have stepped up to offer placement for the children, background checks and home visits are not yet complete.