A Florida mom found her two-year-old daughter alone and locked inside a dark room at her daycare center after coming to pick her up a few minutes late.
Stephanie Martinez is pursuing legal action against Plantation KinderCare after she went to pick up her daughter Anastasia and found her abandoned in a dark room, standing on a chair and crying.
Martinez called 911 and was only reunited with her toddler after the Plantation Fire Department arrived and pried the building’s doors open.
‘She’s crying, she’s in there by herself,’ Martinez could be heard telling the 911 operator in cell phone video she began taking when she saw Anastasia alone in the room.
The daycare’s assistance director, Nichole Burrillo, told police that she and Lucilena Viggiano, a teacher, were the last employees on the premises and responsible for closing.
Burrillo said Viggiano uses a tablet device to check all of the children out before closing the daycare center, according to a police report seen by Local 10 News.
The daycare closes at 6pm, but staff typically stay later because of parents who often come later for pickup, like Martinez, who picks up another child earlier.
Burrillo and Viggiano both left around 6:20pm, they told police. Martinez arrived eight minutes later. She told police that she did not receive a call from the daycare to let them know her child was still there.
Both employees have since been placed on administrative leave while the daycare and its affiliates investigate the incident further, KinderCare confirmed in a statement to NBC 6.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Services and Plantation Police are now investigating the incident, which happened last Tuesday at the KinderCare Child Care Center on Sunrise Boulevard.
Martinez says her child is now ‘traumatized.’
‘It’s the worst feeling ever. You feel helpless,’ Martinez told NBC 6. ‘You can’t do anything to console her. She was definitely stressed out and definitely crying the whole time she was there by herself.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Brian Stieglitz