Colorado police find 26 children under the age of 3 behind false wall in basement of daycare owner’s house
The welfare check was conducted by authorities at Play Mountain Place in Colorado Springs after they received multiple complaints.
Police officers, while conducting a welfare check at a daycare in Colorado, found a "false wall" leading to the owner's nearby house where 26 children under the age of three were found in the basement, according to reports.
The check was conducted by authorities at Play Mountain Place in Colorado Springs on Wednesday after they received multiple complaints that the daycare was housing more children that their license permitted, according to KKTV.
Reports state that when the officers arrived at the facility, they did not find any children inside. They attempted to contact the owner of the daycare, identified as 58-year-old Carla Faith, at her residence, which is located on the same property as the daycare.
Faith refused to cooperate with the officers but they "could hear the noises of children coming from her home," Colorado Springs Police Department's Lt. James Sokolik wrote in a release.
“During their investigation, officers found a false wall that led to the home’s basement. When officers walked down the stairs, they located two adults and 26 kids inside a finished basement, all of who were under the age of 3 years old," the release added. The detectives are reportedly looking to pursue "appropriate" charges in the case.
Reports state that three adult workers at the daycare were originally arrested for misdemeanor child abuse relating to neglect. However, those charges were canceled pending more investigations into the case.
One mother, while talking to the outlet, said: "[I] would never have believed the state of things if I had not seen it with my own eyes. Prior to yesterday, my experience had always been dropping off and picking up my child in a clean, pristine and loving environment. Yesterday, I picked my child up from a small, dingy room in a basement that I had never before seen, where 26 children were crowded together amidst empty juice box containers, graham cracker crumbs and various children’s blankets and lovies. The room smelled of unchanged diapers," she said on conditions of anonymity.
A spokesperson from the Colorado Department of Human Services released a statement saying they are suspending the facility's licensing status.