A mother went on vacation, leaving her 10-year-old and 11-year-old kids home alone. Nicole Sciortino, 30, told authorities that their father, Vincent Licciardello, 30, who lived separately, was meant to be watching them. According to WNEP, the pair was charged with endangering the welfare of their two children and arraigned before a Pennsylvania court on Monday.
Court documents revealed that police visited Sciortino's residence after receiving a welfare report that the children had been left to fend for themselves for days. When the officers entered the home, they found it in an appalling state with food, pills, boxes, and every other kind of litter strewn all over the house.
The police contacted Nicole Sciortino, who lied that she was in the area before admitting to police that she was in Florida. The 30-year-old woman told officers that her return flight had been canceled because of bad weather, adding that the children were meant to be staying with their dad.
However, investigations revealed that Vincent Licciardello refused to allow the children stay with him, preferring to occasionally drop off food only in the evenings. His 10-year-old daughter said they hardly ate breakfast and had to improvise by making macaroni and cheese with the microwave.
When police called Vincent Licciardello, he refused to come over and pick the kids. He hung up on the officers before calling again and telling them that Nicole Sciortino did not like the kids spending time at his apartment.
The Tribune-Times is reporting that the police filed a criminal complaint with child services, citing fast-food wrappers, pizza boxes, and unsecured medication scattered all over the house.
The 11-year-old-boy revealed that his mother showed him how to fill the house furnace with water if the heat went off. But when officers visited the residence, they noticed that the temperature inside was about 58 degrees and that the kids were dressed in winter clothes.
Concerned neighbors disclosed that the kids had missed between 16-26 days of school since the school year started. One neighbor wondered how a mother could leave her children unsupervised for three days when she could not even imagine leaving her own kids alone for 10 minutes.
In her defense, Sciortino told police that she did not know that it was against the law to leave unsupervised children home alone, adding that she "didn't think it was really that bad."
The children are presently staying with family friends.
In September, an Iowa mother went to Germany for an 11-day vacation, leaving her four children without adult supervision. Erin Lee Macke, left a gun on the bedroom shelf while she was away, the Independent is reporting.