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Investigation after girl goes missing at daycare

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 16, 2016

KOKOMO, Ind. – Imagine going to pick up your child from daycare or school and finding out she's not there. That was the reality in Kokomo this week for one frantic mother of a 5-year-old girl.

Now, that mother is demanding answers and change at Dream Makers Learning Ministry.

Latisha Simms says she arrived at the daycare and couldn’t find her daughter. Employees said she was still eating lunch, but she wasn’t.

The little girl – Morgan – was found after she wandered back into the daycare crying. She had fallen asleep inside the daycare’s van earlier when the van was unloaded and she was left inside.

No one had noticed up to that point that she was missing.

Simms says her daughter was alone outside in the daycare’s van for a good hour, but the daycare insists it was only 10 or 15 minutes.

Either way, this mom says a daycare not knowing where every child is at all times is unacceptable.

“It’s terrifying when you don’t know where your child is and you leave them in someone’s hands. That is the worst feeling ever,” Simms said. “Every time you transport a child – you check that bus every day you have a child in that van. It’s your responsibility to go in afterward and make sure there’s nothing left behind.”

The daycare admits to the error, and is making changes to respond.

“We accept full responsibility,” Dream Makers Learning Industry’s Dawn Washington said. “We made a very terrible mistake, and I hate that it happened. There's nothing I can do to change it, but what it has taught me is, we have to continue to train drivers. There's nothing I can do to change it.”

Washington says new policies at the daycare include a new “checkpoint.” Kids are accounted for when they leave the van now to make sure everyone gets off.

The daycare is also adding a security camera to its parking lot.

Simms says it’s too little, too late for her family: She has pulled her daughter from the daycare.

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