A recent case of parental neglect has made headlines.
Both the mother and father of a family have been charged with endangering the welfare of their two children in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.
The two children, an 11-year-old boy, and his 10-year-old sister were knowingly left alone in their home at Dunmore. Investigators said they spent a total of three days by themselves, while their mother was out vacationing, ABC affiliate WNEP reported.
Nicole Sciortino, 30, and Vincent Licciardello, 30, were both arraigned on Monday, March 19, on those neglect charges.
The mother said she didn’t know what she did was illegal.
In a police interview on March 12, Sciortino told Dunmore officers that she “didn’t think it was really that bad” to leave children home alone for extended periods, the Times-Tribune reported.
According to the newspaper, the father occasionally dropped off food for the children but then returned to his own apartment—a separate one in Dunmore.
“That hurts. I’m a mom of five kids. I couldn’t imagine leaving my kids for 10 minutes without an adult supervisor,” Tamra Murphy, a local resident who worked in the area told WNEP. “Who’s feeding them? Who’s washing their clothes? Who’s making sure their homework is done? That upsets me beyond it. That hurts me.”
Dunmore police responded to the home on Wednesday, March 7, after receiving a report of children left alone. Upon arrival, they found the two children and no one else.
They said the home was in a deplorable condition with food, boxes, pills, and other trash on the floor, WNEP reported. The thermostat at the time read 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the 11-year-old son was wearing a winter coat inside the home.
When officers contacted the mother she first told them she was nearby, before later confessing to being in Florida. Then when police contacted the father, he hung up on them and refused to get the children, later arguing that he didn’t want the children to sleep at this home and that his car had broken down.
— WNEP (@WNEP) March 19, 2018
During the investigation, police said one of the children had missed 16 days of school. The other had missed 26 days.
Both parents are out of jail on a $10,000 unsecured bail.
The two children are currently staying with family friends through a youth service program.