DORMONT (KDKA) – The fate of a little boy, who was found alone in a cold apartment over the weekend, is uncertain today.
His parents are in jail and he is in the custody of a county agency. Now, the family’s federal immigration status could determine what happens next.
At their arraignment, the parents wanted to know what would happen to their son.
They left the child alone in their Dormont apartment while they worked at a local restaurant. They claim the child was born in the United States and that he is a U.S. citizen.
The judge told them that immigration officials will have the final say about that claim.
“He was hysterical. He was really sad. He was crying a lot. My other neighbor that came down, she consoled him and she was holding him and everything. I was just trying to find him something to wear because he [was only wearing a shirt and diaper],” neighbor Shyla Murray said.
It was the cries of the 2-year-old boy that alerted neighbors, who then alerted police.
“We had to involve our fire department and were able to gain entry. This young infant was right by the front door, so obviously we can’t force that door without potentially injuring him. So, we forced a rear window,” Dormont Police Sergeant James Burke said.
The parents, Yolanda Pablo Segundo and Raul Cruz-Romero, were arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The father told police the boy was left alone for eight to 12 hours. The mother said a caregiver was supposed to watch him.
Both admitted that they were not legal immigrants.
“Through the course of our investigation, it’s [been determined] that both parents are not legally in this country. Potentially, the father has been in this country since 2005 and living in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he says, for three years,” Sergeant Burke said.
It took an interpreter, Children’s Hospital, Children Youth and Families and federal immigration agencies to intervene.
“Whether they will be allowed to stay here or be deported, what’s going to happen with the child. I am told though, if they are deported, the child will probably go with them if that’s their choice, which I’m assuming it would be,” Sergeant Burke said.