A Colorado daycare owner was arrested this week, more than a month after authorities discovered 26 preschoolers behind a fake wall at her facility.
Carla 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 arrested on similar charges.
Police checking out reports 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 and in dirty diapers, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by The Gazette.
When the cops showed up, Faith had claimed there was no basement and that children were away at a park, according to the affidavit.
But 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.
An officer heard music coming from the basement and a child crying, and 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 tots.
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.
Faith posted $3,000 bond Wednesday. Her next court appearance is set for Jan. 2.
With Post wires
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