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Cops say uncle left nephew in drug addict’s care

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    NEW BRITAIN, Connecticut (WFSB) — An uncle arrested for his role in an Amber Alert out of Middletown failed to report his nephew missing for 12 hours and knowingly left him in the care of a drug addict, according to arrest documents.

New Britain police released the arrest affidavit for Mario Jenkins, who was arrested on June 2.

Police said Jenkins was supposed to be watching 4-year-old Armel Muhammad of Middletown at his home in New Britain when he was taken by Stephanie Fonda, Jenkins’ friend.

According to the arrest papers, the boy’s mother called Middletown police to report her son missing.

Jenkins told New Britain police that Stephanie Fonda came to his house the morning of May 31 and asked to borrow a car and take the boy out.

He said he told her no. However, when he later woke up from a nap, he reported that Stephanie Fonda, the child, and the car were gone.

Jenkins told police that he tried to contact Stephanie Fonda multiple times.

Eventually, he said David Fonda, Stephanie Fonda’s husband, texted him and claimed that the vehicle broke down. David Fonda said the child was fine and that police should not be called.

David Fonda was with Stephanie Fonda and on parole at the time, the documents revealed.

When the boy’s mother learned of that, she called Middletown police. That’s what led to the Amber Alert.

As New Britain police conducted their search for the boy, they said Jenkins tried to get them to leave his home. They eventually figured out it was because Jenkins himself had an active arrest warrant out for him for drug charges out of Middletown.

Meanwhile, Wethersfield police reported that they found Stephanie and David Fonda, along with the victim and the car, at the 5th Avenue Motel on the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield. The Fondas were arrested around 9 p.m. on June 1.

Stephanie Fonda told police that Jenkins actually asked her to babysit the boy and allowed her to use the car.

She also revealed that she picked up her husband David Fonda, who escaped from a halfway house, and the boy on May 31.

Stephanie Fonda said she and her husband were looking to get “dope bags” and go to Hartford. While in Hartford, she told police that they bought drugs and got high.

David Fonda told police that they had been driving around with the boy while high and ended up at the motel in Wethersfield to get more drugs.

On June 2, police said they interviewed Jenkins again. At that point, they said he admitted to asking Stephanie Fonda to babysit.

He told police that he lied to his sister about the circumstances of the boy being missing.

Police said that Jenkins knew that Stephanie Fonda had a severe drug addiction and should not have been caring for a child. The mother only authorized Jenkins to care for the child.

Jenkins ended up being charged with risk of injury to a minor.

David Fonda was charged with risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment.

Police said they expected more charges to be issued.

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