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South Carolina Parents Leave Toddler Alone While on Trip to New York City

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A Charleston, South Carolina couple took a “business trip” to New York City and left their toddler at home sleeping on the couch with a water bottle, unattended.

Donald Gekonge, 24, and Darline Aldrich, 24, were arrested on November 17 for unlawful conduct toward a minor. 

The two-year-old was left alone while dad was, in his words, on a “business trip a few states away.” 

Someone at the apartment complex where the family lives told the police that he had been texted by the father, Mr. Gekonge, and was told that the man was in New York City. The manager of the complex tried to contact someone in the apartment with no success, so the apartment was entered, at which point the child was found alone with an empty water bottle, but in no acute distress. 

Police were then contacted. “When we got into the house, the child woke up and reached out for his empty water bottle,” police said.

A foster care agency took the boy to Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for further evaluation.

At first, police were unable to reach the parents, but eventually Gekonge phoned and told the police that he had an emergency and thought the child’s mother was taking care of him, but later he admitted that the mom was with him in New York City for an “emergency.” 

The parents were taken into custody and bail was set for $50,000 for the father and $75,000 for the mother.

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