Local News

Raleigh Day Care Director Charged After Infant Left Alone for Hours

Posted April 7, 1999

— A Raleigh day care owner faces charges for closing her center Wednesday night while a 1-year-old child was still inside. The child was left unattended for hours at aLa Petite Day Care Centeron Falls of Neuse Road.

Police say the incident involved miscommunication among workers.

Apparently the boy's mother, Lindsay O'Hara, visited her son Wednesday afternoon. Then, she left. When O'Hara's mother came to pick up the boy later, she was reportedly told her daughter had already taken him. In fact, he was still at the center.

After several hours, O'Hara and her mother caught up with each other and discovered the boy was not with either of them. O'Hara's mother went to the day care, entered through a window, and found the child in a crib.

Heather Uhlik, the 29-year-old center director, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a child. Police say more charges could be filed.

Workers from the Division of Child Development spent Thursday morning inside the day care investigating to see if the other children were safe.

One mother who heard about the incident on the radio said she is not taking any chances with her child.

"I just went out looking for another sitter," said Norma Bylorn. "It takes this to make me go ahead and find another day care because it shouldn't happen like that. It scared me to death and I just started crying because that could have been my child."

The director of the state agency says she cannot assure parents that children are safe at the day care until the investigation is complete.

The agency has the authority to shut down the center immediately, but more likely would start an administrative action which could lead to the revocation of the center's license.

The center has been in trouble on at least two prior occasions. Several years ago a worker was fired for taping two childrens' mouths shut during nap time.


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