EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – Police in East Liverpool are investigating after a child was reportedly found wandering outside without a coat or shoes on. But, the daycare center where the child was supposed to be disagrees with some of the information police wrote in their report.
The Community Resource Center/Wee Care Day Care in East Liverpool had a scare when a 4-year-old boy went missing last Wednesday.
“After dinner was prepared, one staff took meals to another room. The child followed, not directly behind her, but followed her out,” said daycare administrator Nila McKinley.
McKinley said the boy was supposed to be in another room when he walked off.
She said when the staffer noticed he was missing, she took action.
“She immediately notified other staff. They did a search of the daycare and did not find him. The mother was called a few minutes later,” McKinley said.
McKinley said that’s where the daycare disagrees with the police report.
Police said someone found the boy outside near a gas station on First Avenue. The boy told police his grandmother lived nearby, so they took him to the house, where relatives were surprised he wasn’t in daycare, according to the report.
The report says a staff member told police the boy had been placed in time out in the hallway and walked out while staff members were attending to other children.
According to the report, “nobody seemed to have a straightforward answer” when asked why no one had called police or the boy’s parents.
Police estimated the boy had been missing for about an hour, but McKinley said the parents were called within five minutes after they noticed he was missing.
“The mother was contacted directly after that. In fact, the staff has it on her phone that at 6:13 p.m., she made a call to the mother,” McKinley said.
The daycare says this is the first time they have had a child wander off since starting nearly 15 years ago.
“Do we make mistakes? Yes. Are we human? Yes. But we learn from our mistakes,” McKinley said.
The daycare says they’ve taken steps to prevent this problem from happening again.
“That’s the safety alarms on the doors that ring as long as the doors open,” McKinley said.
Editor’s note: Even though there are daycares with the same name in the Youngstown area, they are not affiliated with the East Liverpool location in this story.