A Pennsylvania man and woman were arraigned Monday n numerous child endangerment charges after police say they left two kids home alone earlier this month.
The Times-Tribune reports that a concerned neighbor contacted police on March 7 and said that two young children were alone in a home in Dunmore. When police arrived, they found two children inside a cold, filthy home with pizza boxes, clothes, and wrappers from fast food strewn about the inside of the residence. Unsecured medication was in plain sight, according to police, that belonged to the children’s mother.
Nicole Sciortino, 30, allegedly left her son, 11, and daughter, 10, home alone while she reportedly took a vacation to Florida. The children’s father, 30-year-old Vincent Licciardello, who doesn’t live with the family, went over to the home occasionally to drop off food to the kids. Authorities said the temperature inside the home was around 58 degrees, but Licciardello never once took the kids over to his apartment, nor did he stay to take care of them after dropping off food. Police said the boy wore his winter coat inside the residence.
When police finally reached Sciortino via Facetime, she said she wasn’t far away, then supposedly admitted she was in Florida. She allegedly claimed that her flight from Florida back to Pennsylvania was cancelled on March 4 due to inclement weather. She said that the children’s father was responsible for taking care of them. When authorities called Licciardello, he reportedly announced that he didn’t have a way to come pick up the children and promptly hung.
Later, Licciardello told detectives that he dropped the kids at their mother’s home on May 5. He said his vehicle then broke down and he didn’t have a way to get to his children, but he stayed in contact with them via phone. Police said he also stated that he didn’t bring them back to his apartment because their mother didn’t want the children spending the night over there.
The two children told authorities that they were mostly home alone, including overnights, for around least three days. The only adult supervision occurred when their father dropped by periodically and for short periods of time. Sciortino reportedly called them each morning before school, and they either had breakfast once they got to school or sometimes, no breakfast at all.
On March 12, authorities brought the mother into Dunmore police headquarters for questioning. She reportedly said she had no idea it was illegal to leave children home alone and that she “didn’t think it was really that bad.”
Both suspects were arrested and charged with four counts of child endangerment. They were both released on an unsecured $10,000 bail amount each, and are scheduled for their next court appearance on March 27.
The children are currently in the care of other family members.
[Feature Photo: Vincent Licciardello and Nicole Sciortino/Police Handout]