CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — The parents of a 2-year-old child have been arrested and accused of leaving the toddler alone in an apartment while they went on a trip to New York, Charleston police said.
According to police, officers were called to a Folly Road apartment complex at about 2 p.m. on Nov. 17 after someone reported a toddler alone in an apartment. A witness told officers that the child’s father, Donald Gekonge, 24, had sent a text saying he was in New York for business.
The apartment manager was unable to make contact with anyone in the apartment, so management conducted “an emergency walk-through.”
Inside, they found the child sleeping on a bed in the living room. When police entered, the child woke up and “immediately reached for his empty water bottle.” With the exception of a dirty diaper, police said the child seemed to be in good health.
Police tried to reach Gekonge and the child’s mother, Darline Aldrich, 24, several times, but were unsuccessful. Eventually, Gekonge called the apartment complex, at which point an officer was able to talk to him.
According to the report, Gekonge said that he left the apartment about 6 a.m. that morning and he was only “a few states away.” He later said he was in New York “on business.” He also said he did not know who was taking care of the child but assumed that it was Aldrich.
Gekonge’s story changed again when he admitted that Aldrich was also in New York “for an emergency.”
Both Gekonge and Aldrich have been charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. As of Tuesday afternoon, they were both still in custody. Gekonge’s bond was set at $50,000 bond and Aldrich’s at $75,000.