A Colorado daycare owner did a “false wall” to hide two adults and 26 children inside a basement, concealing the fact that her facility was only licensed to include six children, police have alleged.
On Wed, the Colorado Springs Police Department returned to a call at Play Mountain Place after getting accusations of overcrowding, according to the police report. Officers also incorporated the help of the Department of Human Services to perform a welfare check on the kids in care.
Police told the facility — held by 58-year-old Carla Faith, who also lives on the property — rejected to cooperate with the officers upon their arrival.
Although officers could not see any kids at the daycare, they report they heard sounds that eventually drew them to discover a “false wall” that led to the home’s closed basement where 26 children under the age of 3 were being kept.
The state canceled Faith’s daycare license as well as another daycare which she runs down the street, KDVR reported.
“Officers quickly began working with DHS to release the children back to their families,” the police department informed media.
While 3 adult workers were initially taken for “misdemeanor child abuse relating to negligence,” the police report asserted, these charges were dropped as the inquiry continues.
“This was not a play region. This was a dungeon. We’re just ill,” one parent said KDVR.
“I’m really expecting nothing more nefarious has been going on and that in fact, it is an overcrowding issue which is sad enough as it is,” another parent told KKTV. “Miss Carla seems like such a nice personality and she’s always been so welcoming and perhaps she has a hard time answering no. I don’t know, I’m just going to have to chalk it up to that.”
In the case of Colorado, according to KDVR, the law demands there to be one adult per every five kids — suggesting Faith over doubled the limit at her current facility.
The Colorado Springs Police Department did not instantly respond to request for remark.
This was not the first time Faith has been included in a daycare situation involving officials. KDVR reported that she held a daycare in California in the ’90s, which was also reportedly sealed due to repeated overpopulated violations — one instance involved 44 kids with only three adults.
As of Friday, Faith has not been caught as “detectives pursue appropriate charges,” the report verified. A spokesperson for the daycare did not promptly respond to request for remark.