|Trailer home illustration|
A couple packed up their belongings and moved away, leaving their unsuspecting two little children behind alone, according to police.
After playing at a neighbor's house one day, the two children of New Jersey, went back home to the trailer where they lived with their parents and a baby of 18 months old. A few minutes later, they were back at the neighbor's door.
"Nobody is home," police said the children told the neighbor. "The home is empty and everything is gone," they said.
Detective Sergeant Eileen Dodd said that a Howell Township neighbor kept the children, whose names and gender were not released for three weeks before realizing that the parents were not coming back.
The neighbor finally called the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. Dodd said the agency already had a file on the children.
The child welfare agency notified Howell police, who arrested on Tuesday the children's father, 31-year-old Carlos Ribot, and stepmother, 29-year-old Sonia Dircio-Abarca. The two were in jail on charges of child neglect on Thursday.
Dodd said the couple left their home in downtown Howell, for an apartment in Freehold, taking the 18-month-old baby with them.
The baby did not seem to be neglected, but the older children were neglected, Dodd said.
"They were extremely malnourished and very small for their age," he said. "There were problems with the way their feet grew because they got into shoes that were too small. They had some old scars and marks on them," he said.
The two children remain under the temporary care of others, Dodd said. The 18 month old, was placed with a relative.
Police said the couple was the primary caregivers of the children.