Carla Faith daycare owner arrested after cops find 26 kids hidden behind fake wall at Play Mountain Place Colorado Springs facility. Years of ongoing violations.
Carla Marie Faith, 58, was booked Monday on suspicion of reckless child abuse without injury and attempt to influence a public servant, authorities said.
Three employees — Katelynne Nelson, 31, Christina Swauger, 35, and Valerie Fresquez, 24 — were also arrested on similar charges.
The charges follow years of ongoing violations (77 in fact) but no real enforcement until now KOAA5 reports.
History of ongoing violations but little enforcement:
Police responding to claims of overcrowding at Play Mountain Place in Colorado Springs Nov. 13 said they found the children — all under the age of 2 — in a basement behind a false wall, along with two adults.
Most of the toddlers were dehydrated, unfed and in dirty diapers, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by The Gazette.
When police showed up, Faith claimed there was no basement and that children were away at a park, according to the affidavit.
The daycare owner’s claims nearly went unchallenged except for when one of the officers noticed a large stack of children’s backpacks in a closet. Faith said she was volunteering to clean the backpacks for a soccer team, the affidavit states.
Faith’s ruse was up when an officer heard music coming from the basement and a child crying. Another cop eventually discovered the fake wall.
Parents said they had no clue their kids were being cared for in an unfinished basement, nor that Faith was watching so many children.
Play Mountain Place was only authorized to care for six children. The state Department of Human Services suspended its license.
The department in November also ordered Faith to close two other daycares in Colorado Springs and said it was investigating their operations as well.
Noted violations included staff to children ratio, missing records on children being cared for along with no criminal checks for daycare worker staff.
Faith posted $3,000 bond Wednesday. Her next court appearance is set for Jan. 2.