TACOMA — A busy day care in Tacoma, Little Lambs Child Care Center, has been shut down and its license was revoked. Authorities said caregivers failed to report signs of abuse on a 3-year-old boy who later died at a hospital. The child’s mother’s boyfriend is accused of killing him.
Authorities are investigating if the child’s death could have been prevented if the day care workers did what they were supposed to do.
The closure comes two weeks after the death of a 3-year-old boy named Terrick. His mother rushed him to Mary Bridge Hospital and told the hospital staff he had stomach pains. But he died just minutes after they arrived. An autopsy said Terrick died from blunt force trauma to his head and abdomen.
The mother’s boyfriend, 28-year-old Derrick Myers, was arrested at his apartment and accused of murder. Myers is being held in jail on $2 million bail. .
“It’s very surprising,” said neighbor Veronica Williams. Williams says her granddaughter attended the day care two years ago and she doesn’t believe the center did anything wrong.
“I really can’t believe it because from what I know, what I’ve seen, everybody was nice and polite. I don’t believe it,” she said.
The Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) sent a letter to the day care’s owner, Petra Waiters, and revoked her license.
“You and four staff members were aware that a child in your care had unexplained bruises and neglected to report the bruises to Child Protective Services.” Resmondo continued, saying,”Conditions in your child care facility constitute an imminent danger to a child,” Rosita Resmondo with the DEL wrote.
Officials said child care providers go through extensive online training to spot signs of abuse.
The day care center will be closed for at least 90 days while an investigation is conducted. Police said failing to report signs of child abuse is a gross misdemeanor.
The closure also forced nearly 50 families to find child care alternatives.