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9-year-old Twins Left Alone for Months While Parents Were Abroad

The Short of It

Twin 9-year-old boys were left alone in their Manchester, N.H., apartment for nearly four months while their parents and three of their siblings were in Nigeria. The parents had asked an uncle, 25-year-old Giobari Atura, to care for them.

The Lowdown

Manchester police said that instead of staying with the children as he told the boys' parents he would, Atura stopped by every couple of days to drop off food.

In an affidavit, Atura said he stopped by on days that he went to work, but that wasn't every day. He said he checked on them three days a week and told them to call if they needed anything, but no operable phone was found on the premises.

When police found the boys alone in November, no edible food was in the refrigerator and only Ramen noodles were in a cabinet. The boys were obviously being neglected.

The boys' father and Atura's older brother, Jerusalem Monday, and his wife and other three children went to Nigeria in July with the intention of returning in August, but they say they were delayed by illness and passport issues.

The twins were found when their school alerted the state Division of Children Youth and Families that the boys had been on their own for months, getting themselves up, ready for school and on the bus. They survived by eating breakfast and lunch at school. The boys were taken into protective custody and placed into foster care.

The Upshot

When authorities reached the parents, they said that they had told Atura to stay at the house with the boys and they had given him a name of a friend to contact if he was unable to stay. The parents said they were in constant contact with Atura, but he told them everything was fine, and they had no reason to believe otherwise.

Atura was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child and was freed on $500 bail.

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