Pictures of naked children taken at Indianapolis daycare
Indianapolis Metro Police will launch an investigation into what happened inside Tomorrow's Child Daycare Ministry that left naked pictures of young children on a girl's gaming device.
The mother of an eight-year-old girl told Eyewitness News her daughter snapped the pictures of two five-year-old girls using a gaming device she recently got for her birthday.
The eight-year-old's mother also indicated that she was not aware that her daughter was using the game device to snap photos. The daycare owner says the pictures were taken as the three girls played inside an open upstairs room at the daycare with daycare workers only a few feet away.
Daycare owner Mary Copeland said, "I took it serious enough to call the parents immediately - children are curious. I don't think this was a sexual intent."
The eight-year-old used the camera on her Nintendo DS Game console. One of the five-year-olds involved is the daughter of Kara, who asked Eyewitness News not to disclose her identity in order to protect her family and daughter.
"The eight-year-old asked my daughter and the other girl to take their underwear off and proceeded to take pictures of their private area," said Kara, who is confident that no touching took place.
Kara's biggest fear is that the photographs would end up on a website. But the eight-year-old's mother told Eyewitness News that during discipline, her daughter was so upset and regretted doing it that she deleted the nude pictures, which included one of herself as well.
Mary Copeland, who says she has been in the daycare business for almost 30 years, is still trying to figure out how they managed enough privacy to take the pictures.
"Clearly they were very, very quick and very sneaky or they would have been seen," said Copeland.
But this is not the only issue on Copeland's plate right now concerning her daycare business.
An Eyewitness News investigation uncovered the state actually canceled the ministry's registration for Tomorrow's Child Daycare on March 2nd after the IRS invalidated its 501(c)3 status. No ministry status means the facility has to undergo registration. But there is a loophole.
Tomorrow's Child can stay open as long as it doesn't operate more than ten consecutive days at a time. State records indicate that Mary Copeland reported that her daycare would stay closed on Mondays so not to violate any state rules.
Sources tell Eyewitness News that the daycare's days of operation is under investigation. Mary Copeland has reapplied for her state registration.
Kara has since removed her daughter and another child from the daycare. She strongly suggests that other parents do their homework about the daycare of their choice. After the incident involving nude photos of her daughter, Kara hopes the Child Protective Services from the state's Department of Child Services takes a look at what happened to her daughter.