A set of 9-year-old twins were left mostly alone in their family's apartment for four months after their parents traveled to Nigeria with three siblings, New Hampshire authorities recently told AP.
Jerusalem Monday and his wife had reportedly asked Monday's younger brother, Giobari Atura, to take care of their twin sons before they left in July. Atura, 25, told Manchester police that he would deliver food every couple of days, but ramen noodles were the only edible food found in the home when police got involved in November.
He also claimed to have checked on the boys three days a week and instructed them to call him if they needed anything, according to a police affidavit. Yet, the same affidavit stated that "no operable phone was located within the apartment."
One of the young boys told police he "felt lonely while staying at their own house because his mom and dad were not there and nobody was with them."
Officials at the twin's school were the first to report about the boys' situation to the state Division of Children, Youth and Families. They had reportedly been putting themselves onto the school bus and eating breakfast and lunch at school, as AP reports.
The uncle was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, in December and released on $500 bail.
Monday claims that passport issues and illness prevented the family from returning in August as originally planned. He and his wife informed the police that they had told Atura to reach out to a particular family friend of theirs if he was unable to stay with the boys in the apartment.
They claimed that Atura assured them all was well during their phone conversations. The parents immediately returned home once they learned their sons had been left alone, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Michael Valentine told AP.
Initially taken into protective custody and placed into foster care, the twins are now with their parents. The mother and father will not face charges because the twins were left in the care of Atura.
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