Police investigating abuse claims against daycare

Heather Sturgis

Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News

Lawrence - Police are investigating a Lawrence daycare after a mother claimed an employee tied up her child for misbehaving.

"We're supposed to trust in the people that we leave our children with while we go to work," said Heather Sturgis, a single mom to three girls ages 11, 7 and 2.

But for Sturgis, that trust was shattered after she picked up her daughters Monday night at Little Miracles Day Care in Lawrence. She says her seven-year old was crying.

"My daughter came running to me, with her eyes wide open and tears running down her face telling me that that they took her socks and shoes off and that they tied her up," Sturgis said, referring to the seven-year old. "They tied her wrists together and they tied her feet together and they put her on the cot and they made her lay there."

Lawrence Police and Child Protective Services are investigating the claims.

"Allegedly, there were other witnesses who observed what occurred, so we'll find out in fairly short order what took place," said Lawrence Police Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff.

One of those witnesses, Sturgis says, was her 11-year-old daughter.

"Children, you have to double check with them, because they sometimes do lie, but when my 11-year old told me, 'No, it was the truth,' I knew she was telling the truth," Sturgis said.

She says when she confronted the only employee at the center about what her daughter told her, "All she told me was I wasn't here."

Eyewitness News stopped by the daycare to get their side of the story, but a woman who identified herself as "Miss Ann," wouldn't talk to us.

"The management of the daycare center is being cooperative with the investigation," added Woodruff.

Now, Sturgis is looking for another daycare, but says it won't be easy.

"I don't know how I'm going to trust leaving my kids to any daycare," she said.