LILBURN, Ga. -- Lilburn police say ten children were left alone in a house that was operating as an unlicensed day care. The oldest among them was ten years old, the youngest was eight months old.
On June 20, police responded to a call from a concerned parent who heard kids crying inside the house at 5170 Arrowind Road.
According to the police report, officers found ten kids on a bed crying and huddled together in what was described as hazardous conditions. Among the problems police found:
-A slow cooker left on with nothing in it.
-A bathtub filled with water.
-Bleach on a counter
-Faulty child safety locks on a cabinet containing chemicals - bug killer and lighter fluid.
Among the children were two infants and three toddlers. Police say the ten children were left alone for 30 minutes.
"Was it a day care", 11Alive's Ross McLaughlin asked. "By definition, yes it was. Was it licensed? No it was not," responded Captain Thomas Bardugon with the Lilburn Police Department.
We knocked on the door to talk to the woman who lived at the house. 27 year old Melissa Elis Brown has now been charged with Cruelty to Child second degree along with another woman, 27 year old Tusharia A McKoy. Police say Brown was running a day care and showed us the signs that had been posted in the neighborhood.
According to police, three of the children belonged to McKoy, two were Brown's and the others belonged to Brown's relatives. However, according to the report, Brown charged McKoy and others for her services.
In the police report Brown is quoted as saying, she was out and Brown had left to go to the hospital because she 'is pregnant and was having pains'. She stated Brown's sister was supposed to be at the house.
In another statement McKoy said she and Brown had left together to go to a U-Haul location and though the ten year old was old enough to watch the other nine children while they were to be gone for up to ten minutes.
Angie Lopez, who lives next door, has two children of her own. She was shocked by the news.
"I was going to leave my kids over there when there was an emergency but since I heard something like that, no, I'm not going to do that anymore," she exclaimed.
A business card from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning had been left on the door. We're told code enforcement officials are now investigating. All of the children were taken into the care of other adults and were not hurt. Police say the children of the two women who are facing charges have been returned to them.