Sabrina Lococo, the oldest child of Michael and Ellen Marie Lococo, returned to her parents Wednesday after authorities determined the Lococos, who face child-endangerment charges, can handle at least one of their 13 children.
Sabrina, 15, had been in a foster home since her parents were arrested April 2. Cheektowaga police charged the parents with mistreating their children, which then numbered 12, by making them live in a dirty, unheated flat on Olcott Place. Lococo, 42, and his wife, 37, had their seventh son, Joshua, on June 1 and now live in a rented house in Buffalo.
They face further proceedings in Cheektowaga Town Court and Erie County Family Court on their child-endangerment charges. Neither the Lococos nor their attorneys could be reached to comment.
Joan M. Guarino, first deputy commissioner of the Erie Social Services Department, said neither she or anyone in the county's Child Protection Service can comment on the case. Ms. Guarino refused to say if Sabrina had been returned to her parents, but court sources said child counselors have advised the county Social Services Department that they have recently found the Lococos can handle their older children.
The Lococos were living on more than $40,000 annually in welfare and disability income at the time of their arrest. In May, Sabrina wrote a letter, which she made public, asking authorities to let her and her siblings return to their parents.
Attorneys for the couple have been trying to get Cheektowaga Town Justice Ronald E. Kmiotek to recuse himself from the case because they fear Kmiotek wants at least Lococo, who hasn't worked since 1986 because of back problems, to spend time in jail on the child-endangerment charges.
Kmiotek could not be reached to comment.