Erin Lee Macke, 30, traveled more than 4,500 miles this month from her house in Johnston, near Des Moines, to Germany.
When cops arrived, they found Macke's 12-year-old twins, a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old home alone. While Macke originally planned on returning Sunday from her 12-day vacation, police demanded that she fly back to the U.S. Thursday so she could be placed in custody.
She had reportedly left no provisions for the care of her children while she was away.
Macke has since been arrested on four counts of child endangerment and one count of making a firearm available to a person under the age of 21. The father of one of the kids was called by his tyke the following day, and he tipped off police that the kids had been left unsupervised, Johnston police representative Janet Wilwerding said Friday.
A mother-of-four is behind bars in the USA after being arrested for leaving her kids at home while she went on a solo holiday to Germany.
Officers told Macke her children were turned over to DHA and convinced her to come home early, which she did - six days later.
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The mother is being held without bond in the Polk County Jail.
"I've never heard of anything like this before", Johnston Lt. Tyler Tompkins told KCCI.
But authorities ordered her to return much sooner - when they learned that she had left four young children behind.
Her next scheduled court date is October 9 in Polk County.
"This, where a parent has left the country and left the kids home alone", Tompkins said, "I've never heard of it before".
The children are in the care of family members, KCCI reported.