An 11-year-old Arizona boy was left home alone for weeks over the holidays — living off frozen food during his parents’ lengthy out-of-state excursion, authorities said.
The boy’s parents, Melissa Green, 34, and Bobby Jo Green, 30, were arrested late Wednesday at their Elfrida home after returning from an unknown location, according to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
A caller had told deputies Dec. 12 that a family lived at the home but that an 11-year-old boy was “possibly there alone” for an undetermined length of time.
Responding officers conducting a welfare check found the young boy by himself, and an investigation revealed that Melissa Green had left before Thanksgiving to go to another state — with Bobby Jo Green following shortly thereafter.
“The child was left alone the entire time until contact with sheriff deputies was made,” department officials said in a statement. “The child indicated that there was frozen food available to him and he had not attended school during at least the prior two weeks.”
The boy was turned over to child welfare officials when attempts to reach his parents were unsuccessful. The Greens were taken into custody when they returned home last week.
The couple, who were each charged with three counts of child neglect, were jailed on $100,000 bond, police said. They remained in custody at the Cochise County Jail on Tuesday, online records show. It was unclear if they have lawyers.
“This breaks my heart,” one mother wrote on Facebook of the saga. “Please don’t have children if you can’t love and care for them the way they need to be.”