A Lakeville, Massachusetts, mother was arraigned on kidnapping charges Tuesday afternoon.
Valerie McGrath was charged with two counts of kidnapping and is being held on $50,000 bail.
McGrath's defense attorney said she was a desperate mother who had not seen her children in a month.
The attorney explained she has a history as a victim of domestic violence and physical and mental abuse.
McGrath had previously accused the father of the children, Steve Carrigan Sr. of abuse as well.
Prosecutors revealed that they found a 24-foot hose, a plastic bag, and what appears to be a suicide note inside McGrath's car.
They added that it did not appear that McGrath wanted to harm the children, just herself.
The defense attorney acknowledged that McGrath should have brought the children back.
Carrigan has sole custody of 7-year-old Steven and 5-year-old Eden, but he allowed the mother of his children, Valerie McGrath, to take them out Sunday afternoon for their Steven's birthday.
McGrath was supposed to be back by 5 p.m., but she never showed, prompting a search.
Carrigan says he's not sure where the three had been, but a tipster spotted them in Swansea. Officers say McGrath rented the car which was spotted.
Authorities found the three at a McDonald's drive-thru in Raynham, where McGrath was arrested and the kids reunited with their father.
Carrigan says he never thought McGrath would hurt the kids, but he didn't know how far she'd take them.
Carrigan said, "I'm very glad that it wasn't another state, or you know far away. I'm just so glad it was down the street, and now we can go home and enjoy the rest of the night."
An amber alert was not issued and the kids were not hurt.