A Pennsylvania mother and father were charged with endangering the welfare of their two children after knowingly leaving them home alone for three days, KTLA sister station WNEP reported Monday.
Nicole Sciortino and Vincent Licciardello, both 30, were arraigned Monday morning.
According to court papers, Dunmore police responded to Sciortino's home on Monroe Avenue on March 7 after a report of children who had been left alone for weeks. Licciardello lives at a different address.
When officers arrived, they found a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old home by themselves. Police say the place was in deplorable condition, with food, boxes, pills and other trash on the floor. The thermostat read 58 degrees.
After tracking down the mother of two, police say Sciortino first told them she wasn’t far away, but later admitted that she was in Florida. According to the document, she told investigators that the children’s father, Licciardello, was watching the kids and that she didn’t realize it was against the law to leave her two children home alone unsupervised for an extended period of time. Sciortino added that she “didn’t think it was really that bad.”
During the investigation, police found that on March 5, Licciardello dropped the kids off early in the morning at their mother's home. Over the next three days, while their mother was in Florida, he would occasionally stop by to drop food off for the unsupervised children.
Authorities said they believe the children were alone during their mother's vacation, but not for weeks, as the 911 caller alleged. Police said one child has missed 16 days of school this year, while the other has missed 26 days.
“That hurts. I’m a mom of five kids. I couldn’t imagine leaving my kids for 10 minutes without an adult supervisor,” said Tamra Murphy. “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.”
“That’s insane to me,” said Kaylia Riley. “I mean, at the end of the day, I couldn’t even leave my dogs for three days by themselves, let alone children, especially small children. It’s just mind-blowing.”
Sciortino and Licciardello were both charged Monday with endangering the welfare of children. Both were given $10,000 unsecured bail, so both walked free.
Investigators said the two children were staying with family friends.