Police in Virginia have charged a Suffolk woman with child neglect and child endangerment after she allegedly left her 8-year-old son home alone over the Memorial Day weekend to travel out of state.
Suffolk police arrested 27-year-old Kionna Moret over the weekend after a neighbor called Saturday to report that the boy was home alone, WTVR News reports.
The neighbor, who asked not to be identified in news reports, spoke to WAVY News. She said her own teenage son first encountered the 8-year-old boy when he came outside to play and mentioned that he was staying home alone for the weekend while his mother travelled to South Carolina.
The neighbor said her son told her about the young boy and she came outside to investigate.
“I looked over at him and said, ‘Hey, is your mom home? I need to talk to her,’” the woman told WAVY. “He got very hesitant and I said again, ‘I need to talk to your mother. Is she home?’ He hesitated again and he said, ‘No.’”
The woman said the boy told her his mother wasn’t planning on returning home until Monday. She said she asked if anyone was staying with him and he indicated that he was alone.
“You’re home by yourself?” the neighbor reportedly asked the boy.
“Yes, my mom said I was old enough because I took tae-kwon-do,” the boy replied, according to the woman.
She said the young boy told her he had corned beef hash and pizza to eat, and that he was given a cellphone and told to check in with his mom every hour. He reportedly told the neighbor his mother threatened to spank him if he told anyone he was alone.
The neighbor said she called police to the house at around 5 p.m. on Saturday, and the authorities remained at the home for nearly six hours.
“To leave an 8-year-old on their own for a weekend and go two states away, to me, is just mind blowing,” she said.
According to WTVR, Moret bonded out of jail Sunday.
The boy was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
The weekend’s alleged incident is the second such incident in Virginia in the past week.
A Norfolk woman, 35-year-old Amy Vela, was arrested May 18 for allegedly leaving six children at home alone while she played Bingo, WTKR News reported on May 21.
None of the children, ranging in age from 5 months to 10 years old, were injured. They were discovered around 7 p.m. It reportedly took authorities about an hour and a half to locate Vela, who was found at a nearby Bingo hall.
She was arrested and charged with six counts of felony child neglect.
Photo Credit: Police photo via WAVY News