The owner of a Colorado Springs nursery – a city in the east of that state – is under investigation after local police discovered 26 children crammed in the basement of the property, a report from authorities said.
Investigators arrived at Play Mountain Place nursery on Wednesday for a check-up, after receiving complaints that the place harbored more children than allowed in the license.
When trying to communicate with the owner, a 58-year-old woman named Carla Faith, the officers heard a noise of children inside the property.RELATED
"During the investigation, the agents found a false wall that led to the basement of the house," details the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) report.
"When the agents went down the stairs, they located two adults and 26 children in a basement. They were all under three years old," he says.
Three daycare workers were arrested for minor offenses of child abuse related to neglect, although the charges were later suspended pending further investigation. Faith was not arrested, as the authorities are still determining "the appropriate charges."
The Unit of Crimes against Children of the CSPD is handling the criminal part of the investigation, while the related thing to the license of Faith (that was suspended) is carried out through the Department of Human Services (DHS).
"It smelled like dirty diapers"
After the finding, DHS contacted the parents to pick up their children.
A mother told the Awake America Univision program: "I hope that something worse has not happened and that it is only a problem of overcrowding, which is already very bad."
"I would never have believed this state of affairs if I had not seen it with my own eyes," said another mother, quoted by KCBD, a station affiliated with the NBC network.
"Before yesterday, my experience had always been to leave and pick up my son in a clean, pristine and loving environment. Yesterday, I picked up my son from a small and dreary room in a basement that I had never seen before. The room smelled like dirty diapers, "he described.
He added: "This is not at all similar to the level of attention they had made me believe my son was receiving."
A 1998 report from the Los Angeles Times shows how the owner of the daycare and the authorities had closed two facilities that year, when they found 44 young children in a house without a license.
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