Girl left alone for an hour inside Oklahoma day care, family says

Posted at 9:42 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 23:42:14-04

ANADARKO, Okla. - An investigation is underway after an entire day care staff went home for the day and a 5-year-old child was left sleeping inside for nearly an hour, KFOR reports.

Young Mia’s family said the Wichita School Readiness Program workers thought she had already been picked up, so they turned off the lights and locked the facility.

"[The day care said] this was an accident," grandmother Rhonda Bryant said. "Everybody had gone home for the day."

But it turns out not everybody went home.

“Mia was asleep ... left on the carpet,” Bryant said.

She says Mia’s dad was late picking her up, but nobody seemed to notice that Mia was left all alone inside the dark, empty day care for 42 minutes.

“If she would’ve woke up with all the lights off she would’ve totally freaked out,” Bryant said.

The family said they were a nervous wreck waiting outside the locked building.

“All we could think about was Mia was with someone she didn’t know,” Bryant said.

After calling all the day care staff back, they found Mia safe and still asleep inside. KFOR reports that the local Wichita Tribe, with headquarters in Caddo County, oversees the day care.

Attorney Michael D. McMahan released the following statement on behalf of Wichita and Affiliated Tribes President Terri Parton:

"The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes (the “Tribe”) has been made aware of a complaint lodged against the child care facility operated by the Tribe. The Tribe self-reported the complaint the evening the incident occurred. This complaint, like any complaint regarding children in our care, will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. It is our understanding that the complaint does not involve any alleged physical abuse or harm. Because this matter is under investigation currently, the Tribe cannot comment further at this time."

Until then, Bryant refuses to let it go.

“That’s why we went to the news,” Bryant said. “Everything gets swept under the rug, especially when you mess with the tribe.”

Mia’s family said one staff member at the day care was suspended, but says there were two working at the time.

DHS was notified and showed up the day after the incident happened.