Two 9-year-old boys, who were left alone for five months in the their family’s apartment while their parents were out of the country, are back in the custody of their parents, according to court documents.
The Associated Press reports the twins, from Manchester, New Hampshire, had been left in the care of their 25-year-old uncle, Giobari Atura, while their parents and three siblings visited Nigeria in July.
The parents had intended to return to New Hampshire in August, but, they told police, their return was delayed because of illness and passport problems.
Officials at the boys’ school notified authorities in November when they learned that the boys were getting themselves up every morning and getting on the bus, then eating breakfast and lunch at school.
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Once police began investigating, Atura reportedly told authorities he was stopping by the apartment every few days to drop off food. Atura said he told the boys to call if they needed anything, according to police documents.
“It should be noted that no operable phone was located within the apartment,” read one of the police affidavits.
Police also said that when they visited the home in November, there was no food in the refrigerator and only ramen noodles in one cabinet.
Apart from one of the twins reportedly telling police he got lonely while staying in the apartment with only his brother, the two boys suffered few negative effects from being alone for so long.
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“The kids were doing an amazing job taking care of themselves, getting themselves to school and maintaining their own health during that time,” Hillsborough County Assistant Attorney Michael Valentine told WMUR News.
Valentine told CNN that Atura was charged with endangering a child, a misdemeanor.
The parents returned to the country shortly after learning the twins had been left alone. The two boys are now back in the custody of their parents, according to Valentine.
He said in a news release there were no plans to file charges against the parents because they “left the children in the care of the uncle” and believed that the uncle was properly caring for them.
Atura is out on $500 bail.
Neither he nor his attorney have commented on the case and a court date has not been reported.