Metro couple charged with child neglect after young boy with autism found home alone

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – A Midwest City couple has been charged with child neglect after an 8-year-old boy with autism told police his parents had left him home alone.

On June 23, just after 11 p.m., police responded to the area near N.E. 23rd St. and N. Post Road in reference to “a subject in distress.”

When police arrived on scene, an 8-year-old boy with autism approached an officer in the middle of the street and said that his parents, Shaniece Ormond, 24, and Kayla Riccardi, 25, “had left him home alone.”

According to a probable cause affidavit, the officer spent an hour trying to get in contact with Ormond and Riccardi after confirming that there was no one at the home.

The officer was able to find the family member with primary custody and the child was released to that relative.

Officials say the family member had primary custody because Riccardi, the boy’s mother, had “prior allegations of abuse and neglect while the child was in her care.”

Ormond later told police that she and Riccardi had been in a verbal argument and that she left to avoid conflict in front of the boy. The affidavit states that Ormond told police she believed that Riccardi was still at the home.

Riccardi said the argument started after Ormond had a friend at the home “that she did not approve of.” According to Riccardi, she then left to also avoid conflict in front of the boy. She said she saw Ormond’s vehicle in the driveway when she left.

The officer says he was at the home for more than an hour trying to find contact information for Ormond and Riccardi. He says it was another 45 minutes after the officer left before Ormond and Riccardi got in contact with police.

Both of them each face one count of child neglect.