South Carolina couple arrested for leaving toddler home during trip out of state

The parents of a 2-year-old boy have been arrested in Charlestown, South Carolina, allegedly for abandoning him while on a trip to New York.

Charleston Police said officers were called to the couple’s home on Thursday after an apartment manager reported finding a child alone in the apartment.

At about 2 p.m., police arrived at the apartment complex, where they were told that they had attempted to contact Donald Gekonge, 24, but were unable to. During an emergency walkthrough of his apartment, they discovered the child sleeping in a bed in the living room.

When they entered the room, the child reached for his empty water bottle immediately. No one else was present to supervise the child, but he appeared to be in good health.

They said they spoke to an unnamed person who said they had received a message from Gekonge saying he was in New York.

Once again, they were unable to reach him.

A team of EMS and social workers arrived at the apartment and changed the child’s diaper, which was soiled, and provided him with clean clothing. For further treatment, the child was taken to MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

The father initially said he wasn’t sure who was taking care of his son but believed it might be his mother, 24-year-old Darlene Aldrich. He later admitted that she was in New York as well, but said it was due to an emergency.

After being booked into the Al Cannon Detention Center on Monday, the two were charged with unlawful conduct toward a child.

Gekonge is being held on a $50,000 bond, while Aldrich is being held on a $75,000 bond.