Iowan Police
Iowan police arrested a mother who left her children behind to go to Germany, pictured November 2, 2016 in Des Moines is a police car. Getty Images

An Iowa mother was arrested Thursday after leaving behind her four children to go on an 11-day trip to Germany, according to local reports. She also left behind a loaded gun on her bedroom shelf.

Erin Lee Macke, 30, of Johnston, Iowa, was charged with child endangerment and making a firearm accessible to persons under 21 years old. Macke's 11-day excursion, which was slated to last from Sept. 21 to Oct. 1, was cut short by four days after she received a phone call from local police demanding her to return home immediately. She had no arrangements made for the supervision of her children.

The Iowa Department of Human Services provided care for the children while their mother was away. Macke's has a 6-year-old, a 7-year-old and two 12-year-olds.

"There was nobody lined up to be with the children," Johnston Police Department Lt. Lynn Aswegan said Friday. "Apparently she had talked to a couple of family members that earlier on had some conflicts watching the children during that time-frame, and she gave them the indication she had it taken care of."

Aswegan added, "She felt comfortable that the kids were responsible enough to take care of themselves during that duration."

Macke's trip to Germany was a "social venture," Aswegan said. Macke reportedly went to visit her brother and niece. The children had been alone for 24 hours before someone entered the apartment to check on their condition.

Macke appeared in Polk County's courthouse Friday. She reportedly was instructed to hire a lawyer and prepare for trial. Macke, however, went free on a $9,000 bond ahead of the trial. She was previously held in the Polk County Jail prior to receiving bail.

The judge also ordered that Macke is forbidden to see her children during the interim period. Several forms of contact were not allowed, including direct, indirect, writing, phone, voice messaging and text messaging.

Macke's next court date is slated for Oct. 9 in Polk County's courthouse, CBS affiliate KCCI reported Friday. The two 12-year-olds are staying with family. The 7-year-old and 6-year-old children, however, are under their father's custody.

A representative for Johnston Police Department did not immediately return International Business Times' request for comment.

Child endangerment is often used interchangeably to refer to "child abuse" or "child neglect" in Iowa. A parent can commit child endangerment by knowingly putting the child at substantial risk for safety, mental or emotional health.

The severity of punishment would depend on the degree of harm. If a child isn't killed or injured by the negligence, the crime is considered to be an aggravated misdemeanor. The crime would be punishable by a jail sentence of up to two years, or a year in jail followed by a fine between $625 and $6,250. The most serious offense, however, is a Class B felony, which could result in up to 25 years in prison.