Police: Children left alone in deplorable conditions while mom vacationed in Florida

DUNMORE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania mother and father are charged with endangering the welfare of their two children after knowingly leaving them home alone for three days, investigators said.

Nicole Sciortino and Vincent Licciardello, both 30, were arraigned Monday morning, according to WNEP.

According to court papers, on March 7, Dunmore police responded to Sciortino's home on Monroe Avenue for 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 said 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 said Sciortino first told them she wasn’t far away but later admitted she was in Florida. According to the document, she told investigators the children’s father, Licciardello, was watching the kids and 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 she “didn’t think it was really that bad.”

During the investigation, police found, on March 5, Licciardello dropped off the kids 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 off food 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 are staying with family friends.