Kids left with sitter

Coupeville Marshal Lenny Marlborough said he’s had cases before of parents losing young children, but never children losing parents.

The unusual case of suspected child abandonment occurred Tuesday when a NE Faris Street resident reported that a man who regularly mows her lawn left his two small children with her to babysit, but then never returned.

According to Marlborough, the man had stopped by Monday to ask the elderly woman if she wanted her lawn mowed. When she declined, he asked her if she would babysit his two children for “a couple hours.”

But when he didn’t come back to pick up the kids by 11 o’clock the next morning, she called police.

Marlborough said the woman couldn’t recall the man’s name or where he lived. The older of the two little girls, who are ages 3 and 1 1/2, could only identify herself as “Rhianna” and her sister as “Sadie.”

Marlborough said he interviewed the youngster, but she couldn’t tell him her parents’ names or where she lives.

So Marlborough printed up a flier with the children’s photos and distributed them around. On Wednesday, a town resident identified the children.

It turned out that the man who dropped the kids off, a 25-year-old Coupeville resident, is the boyfriend of the children’s mother. The 22-year-old woman lives with him at a Coupeville residence.

Marlborough said neither the man or the children’s mother “seemed very concerned” about the children’s absence. The man claimed that he told the woman he’d be back for the kids in a few days, not a few hours.

Marlborough said he doesn’t quite believe that. “He only left three diapers,” he said.

For now, the children are in a foster home under the care of Child Protective Services. Marlborough said the case is still under investigation, but the couple may face a child abandonment charge.

“At least the kids were OK,” he said. “They didn’t realize what was going on. They’re so tiny.”

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