Daycare Owner Accused Of Hiding 26 Neglected Toddlers Behind False Wall

by Valerie Williams
CBS This Morning/Youtube

Police arrived to find 26 kids under age 3 with soiled and wet diapers

A Colorado woman is being accused of hiding 26 children, all under age three, behind a false wall at her home daycare. She was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor child abuse.

Carla Faith was arrested this week in Colorado Springs on two counts of reckless child abuse without injury and a single count of trying to influence a public servant. Three of her daycare center’s employees were also arrested — Katelynne Nelson, 31, Christina Swauger, 35, and Valerie Fresquez, 24.

In a statement, Lt. James Sokolik says the arrests were the culmination of a six-week investigation by the city police department’s Crimes Against Children Unit. The police department had received complaints that Faith’s daycare business was caring for more than the six kids her Play Mountain Place was authorized and licensed to care for. On November 13, officers went to the home and after hearing noise downstairs, found the false wall that was concealing 26 kids and two adults.

Earlier in the day, Faith lied to a human services worker saying there were no children at the facility. This, despite a mother reporting having brought her child there that day. Faith also lied to police telling them there was no basement in the home and that the kids weren’t even in the house — she said they were at the park. Police discovered the kids, many in soiled or wet diapers. In a press release, Colorado Springs Police Department says Faith “refused to cooperate.”

“When officers walked down the stairs, they located two adults and 26 kids inside a finished basement, all of whom were under the age of three years old,” the release states. “Officers immediately began working with DHS to release the children back to their parents.”

But that’s not all — Faith owns three other daycare centers in Colorado Springs, one licensed. Police are now investigating those facilities too. According to The Gazette, parents of 19 of the children have filed a lawsuit against Faith for negligence.

This is a working parent’s worst nightmare. Finding quality childcare can be an incredible challenge, and it’s a huge leap of faith trusting another person with your child. Faith violated the trust of dozens of families by mistreating their kids when she was supposed to be keeping them safe. It’s unforgivable.

The state Department of Human Services has suspended Faith’s license to operate daycare centers. She posted $3,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court again today.