Police Investigating Baby Left Behind By Staff at MLK Center

WICHITA FALLS - Terrifying moments for a Wichita Falls family last night, after they said their baby was almost locked inside the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Care center overnight.

The mother, Dominique Shrubs said when she got the call from her baby's father that someone else had picked up her daughter at day care, she panicked. And then felt a huge relief when the baby was found, by the custodian who was about to lock up for the night.

But now she wants answers, on why they thought someone had picked the baby up, and how she was forgotten in her crib.

Railynn is her normal self,  a happy, playful baby just as she was when the custodian found her just before locking the doors of the Child Care, Inc. Day Care at the Martin Luther King Center.

Railynn's mother, Dominique Shrubs said the baby's father went to pick her up around 5 pm and staff members told him she had already been picked up. But Police Sergeant Harold McClure said the day care check-out log did not confirm anyone had picked her up.

So, the father then left to contact other family members and try to find the baby.

"Who would want to take my baby," said Shrubs.

Around 6 pm, police said the family came back to the center and met a custodial worker, who said he had found the baby sitting in a crib in the empty nursery after the daycare had closed.

He told officers he was trying to contact staff just as the family began banging on the door.

"Everybody out there was crying," Shrubs said. "My little cousin was holding her, he was crying. It was just touching because it's just like you never realize that your last day could be today."

And she said she is just thankful for the custodian, because Railynn wouldn't have been found until this morning.

"If y'all do the casual sweep through that's supposed to be done everyday, this situation should not have happened," said Shrubs. "No parent should be feeling like or even be told without reassurance, like yes for sure somebody for a fact came and got your kid. That just shouldn't happen."

And Keri Goins, the Development Director for Child Care, Inc. agrees. She said they are doing their own investigation.

"Hopefully that will help up clear up exactly what happened and what we can do to make sure that this doesn't happen to another child in our care," Goins said.

But Shrubs said Railynn won't return to the MLK Center.

"It makes me not want to put her back in any day care anymore," said Shrubs. "I don't know if another day care would do this. How do I know the next day care won't be as careless as they were."

Officers said the baby showed no signs of ill effects from the incident, but juvenile crime detectives are investigating. They're looking into whether there is evidence of child abandonment or endangerment.

Full statement from Child Care, Inc.:

Wednesday evening, April 12th, an incident occurred where a child was inadvertently left after closing at the Martin Luther King Center, one of four child care centers operated by Child Care Inc. a non-profit organization. We are grateful that the child is fine and with her family.

We have made the appropriate incident report to licensing and will cooperate fully with any investigation.

We have also started an internal investigation to determine how this incident happened and what actions need to be taken to ensure it never happens again. The employees involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation by all appropriate parties. Our agency considers this a very serious matter and corrective action will be taken on any investigative findings.

Child Care Inc. has served the community by providing safe and appropriate child care for 99 years. We are committed to our families and their children and we will ensure that their trust in our agency is well founded.

Licensing questions for the agency can be answered by calling the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services at 940-235-1995.

It would be speculative and therefore premature to field questions until the investigations are completed. Our contact person on this matter is Gregory A. Ross, Treasurer, at 940-692-7800, or Jeanmarie Baer, President, at 940-723-4323. Thank you.

Gregory A. Ross, Treasurer
on behalf of the Board of Directors
Child Care Inc.

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