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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    23,796

    NV - Pair who left sons may face charges

    Investigators are waiting for a father and stepmother to return from Las Vegas after they left their two boys home alone over New Year's weekend -- and police say it is not the first time.
    San Ramon police are pursuing a criminal case against the couple, whose children, ages 5 and 9, were left at home with cereal, frozen meals and a cell phone number to call for emergencies, said Sgt. Brian Kalinowski.
    "What we are dealing with here is child endangerment, leaving children in what could potentially be a condition where (they) could come into harm," he said.
    The children were found Saturday after their maternal grandmother called police suspecting they were alone, said Sgt. Eric Webb. The older boy told police his parents left Friday and would return Wednesday. The younger brother suffers from a medical condition, but police would not elaborate.
    The boys were taken into custody by county Child Protective Services and then released to their grandmother. The boys' biological mother died a few years ago, investigators said.
    http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/...s/13546106.htm
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,568
    OH MY GOSH! 5 and 9???????? What on earth were they thinking? They just obviously didn't care. I dont leave my 5 and 6 year old to even go a block away for 2 minutes. I take them with me. I cannot even fathom this.... Inexcusable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Texas
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    4,437
    Snipped from the above newslink:

    "The 9-year-old told investigators he and his brother ate cereal for breakfast and frozen meals, which they heated in a microwave, for lunch and dinner. He also told police it was not the first time they had been left alone overnight.
    By law, there is no minimum age requirement for children to be left alone, but Kalinowski said it is a judgment call.

    "If you're dealing with a 16-year-old, that's one thing, but a 5- and 9-year-old, and the 5-year-old has a medical condition -- we don't know how you make that bridge," he said."

    I don't understand, there's no minimum age? As I recall, in TX a child under 14 can not be left alone. Poor kids! Why didn't they have the Grandmother keep them? I would never trust mine to be alone at home at that age for any amount of time. Just too many things could happen. Why was going to more important than spending that time with their kids? What's wrong with people?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,568
    CPS must make decisions on whether the act of leaving these children alone is not right... great....

    Here are some links.

    http://www.nspcc.org.uk/html/home/ne...thomealone.htm

    • Never leave a baby or very young child alone at home, whether asleep or awake, even for a few minutes. It doesn’t take long for unsupervised young children or babies to injure themselves.
    • Most children under thirteen should not be left for more than a short period.
    • No child under sixteen should be left overnight.
    http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/poptopics/homealone.html

    Most States do not have regulations or laws about when a child is considered old enough to care for him/herself or to care for other children. Currently Illinois and Maryland have laws addressing this topic. States may have guidelines or recommendations. These guidelines are most often distributed through child protective services and are administered at the county level.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    4,530
    I remember that my mom had a 12 year old across the street who was mature enough to babysit the 4 of us at times (I don't think overnight, but for a few hours), and I think that was the age at which we were allowed to stay at home alone (add a few more years for when we could stay at home with our younger sisters).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,568
    My oldest son is turning 7 in a month. I cannot fathom, even thinking ahead 2 years from now, leaving him alone overnight. Not in a million years. And in charge of a 4 year old? Holy cow!

  7. #7
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    Oct 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    ooppss.. in charge of a 5 year old.... but the same point applies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    26,902
    My oldest son is 13 years older than my next child. I NEVER left them alone together. First of all, it wasn't his responsibility. Secondly, I was left "babysitting" my younger sisters and I know it causes resentment. Nine years old is too young even to be home for a couple of hours alone in the afternoon. I can't imagine thinking that the child would be home alone at night, much less watching a younger child.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    The North Shore of Boston
    Posts
    602
    this story makes me rip-*****. It is ridiculous that there is no legal age defined to be left home along. This is so incredibly sad but also makes me so incredibly pis*ed. So this isn't the first time that this has happened?? Thank God the Grandmother is on to the whole thing and is keeping tabs on them. This hits close to home because my mother used to leave me home alone if I was sick from school so she could go to work. This started in 1rst grade. I am sure she felt she didn't have a choice but I can tell you that it was lonely and also that I wouldn't have known what to do in case of any emergency. It was negligence plain and simple and so is this. Can you even imagine???? And they were going to be gone for 4-5 nights?????? This Dad deserves to lose custody permanently. And one of the things I picked up on was that the Dad returned ONE of SEVERAl calls to his cell phone?? This was the same cell number he left with his 9 year old 'in case of emergency.'??????? My blood pressure is going up every word I type.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    59
    So, this is my first post, and I have been lurking for days. But, this one sent me over the edge! As a local, there are few tidbits I would like to add. The youngest son is autistic (as reported on KTVU.com), and he clearly requires a higher standard of care. Obviously, a 10-year-old needs a few more skills if expected to be the primary care provider for five days. This story is all over the local news this evening, and they are showing pictures of the family home. These are not people who appear to be facing financial challenges. The oldest son also spoke on TV, and he seems really sweet. These adults are two employed professionals, and I would suspect that their combined annual salary is pushing 6 figures. If they can afford two out-of state vacations in one year, they can afford a $50 a day teenager to hang out at their pad for a few days. While sacrifice might be a new concept for them, maybe they should consider only one vacation per year while budgeting for appropriate daycare. I am pleased to learn these two were both arrested for their negligence, and I enjoy knowing that their bond and lawyer fees will clearly impact their free-styling ways in the coming year. Good work parental figures!


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    1,804
    The saddest part of this story, to me, is that the mother died a few years ago. She must be rolling over in her grave. *God help the motherless child*

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,102
    bertajo--I am glad you came out of the lurk mode! This really is a sad story. I can't believe they had petsitters for their three dogs (mentioned in the article I am posting below), but no one to watch over their two children. I just can't understand how people could just leave two little kids to fend for themselves.

    Police arrest parents of kids left home alone

    Wed. 1/04/06
    Contra Costa Times

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/...s/13550473.htm

    Investigators escorted Jacob Calero, 39, and Michelle Delavega, 32, from their America West flight.....

    They were held on suspicion of felony child endangerment in lieu of $200,000 bail each.

    Excerpts

    Police on Wednesday arrested a father and stepmother suspected of leaving their two young boys home alone over New Years weekend while their three dogs were cared for by petsitters.

    The 10-year-old said he knew his parents were leaving, but they didn't say good-bye. The boys awoke Friday morning to find their father and stepmother gone and no idea who, if anyone, might be by to check on them.

    The boys' grandmother called police about 11 p.m. Saturday night after growing concerned they were alone. Earlier that night, a neighbor had taken in the 5-year-old after hearing him screaming from inside his home's garage. Joshua, who had been at a friend's house for a few hours, later retrieved his younger brother from the neighbor's home, Kalinowski said.

    The boy' father is a plumber and Delavega, who is stepmother to the children, works in the dental field. The couple wed last spring.

    More at the above link....

    The article also states that the 10 year old was angry that they were left alone at home, and that he was responsible for the care of his brother. He would like to have gone on the trip with his parents.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2005
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    4,530
    Mad that he didn't get taken on the trip - precisely why they needed a sitter! He could have decided to take that out by not taking care of his younger brother (bad when even his best efforts might not be sufficient).

    I can't believe they got a petsitter - they could have left the dogs at home for a couple of days with food and water and access to the garage or other covering much better than leaving their kids in that situation!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    59
    This story just keeps getting better, kids. Let’s review the timeline here…

    Friday 5:00am – parents leave home for Vegas vacation

    Saturday 11:00pm – officers retrieve children from home

    Monday – officers contact parents

    Tuesday – father refuses to respond to officers’ phone calls; father resumes counting chips

    Wednesday 11:00am – parents return to Oakland where they are arrested

    I hope they were enjoying the buffet at the Bellagio followed by a hot night of gambling because these stellar people are going to be enjoying the inmate special for a few days. Yummy!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    East Bay, California
    Posts
    1,233
    This story really hits home for me as San Ramon is right next to Danville, which is where we live.

    This couple just makes me sick. They're both professionals...dentists/cosmetic dentistry, believe it or not. What just broke my heart was the article in today's paper wherein the ten year old boy stated he thought his parents were supposed to love the boys more than the puppies. OMG...I just want to thrash this couple.

    I don't know what it is about this area, but we've encountered more stories from friends of ours out here of like situations...parents who like to party, drink hard and think nothing of leaving their children unattended. Friends of ours lived in a street just down from us and actually moved back to Chicago as they were so sickened with the behavior of their neighbors. (The daughter of one of this area's most wealthy of families was involved. Long story, but similar in many ways to the above sad story.)

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