Colorado day care owner charged after allegedly hiding toddlers behind a false wall

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(CNN) — The owner of a Colorado day care that allegedly used a “false wall” to hide 26 toddlers in a basement has been arrested and charged, court documents show.

Carla M. Faith, 58, was arrested Monday and faces charges related to child abuse and attempting to influence a public servant, according to the documents. Her bond was set at $3,000.

CNN attempted to reach a public defender representing Faith, who has yet to respond to CNN after repeated efforts to reach her.

The charges stem from November, when officers went to Play Mountain Place in Colorado Springs after complaints about overcrowding. There, they found 26 children younger than 3 with two adults behind the false wall.

The day care had a licensed capacity of six children, according to May 2019 data on the Colorado Department of Human Services website. The department immediately suspended the day care’s license while it investigated, the agency said in a statement at the time.

Police didn’t immediately find any children when they first arrived at the day care, Colorado Springs police said in a statement. They contacted Faith, who lives on the property, and she “refused to cooperate” with the officers, police said.

But police could hear children in her home, and while investigating, they found the wall leading to the basement. “Officers immediately began working with DHS to release the children back to their parents,” the police department said.

The state Department of Human Services received the complaint in November and enlisted police help in carrying out the welfare check, the department said in a statement.

Three day care workers were arrested for “misdemeanor child abuse relating to neglect,” police said, but detectives canceled the charges “pending further investigation.” Faith was not arrested at the time, police said, “as detectives pursue appropriate charges.”

“I’m really hoping nothing more nefarious has been going on and that in fact it is an overcrowding issue which is bad enough as it is,” a parent told CNN affiliate KKTV at the time. “Miss Carla seems like such a nice person and she’s always been so accommodating and perhaps she has a hard time saying no. I don’t know, I’m just going to have to chalk it up to that.”

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