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Nanny Cam Video Surprises, Frightens Cary Mom

Posted February 21, 2008
Updated February 23, 2008

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— After her twin sons, Gavin and Bryce, were born three months premature, it was difficult for Lindsay Addison to go back to work in January.

Having spent months in intensive care, the boys still were not healthy enough to go to day care with their older brother, so Addison posted an ad online for a nanny.

After interviewing six candidates, she hired someone she thought she could trust – a nanny who is a mother herself, had a background in child care and had a “glowing recommendation” from someone who had known her for 15 years.

“She came in to our house around Christmastime and visited with the boys and us and our other son,” Addison said. “She actually has a child, and she brought him with her. And things just seemed to go well.”

The nanny started Jan. 2.

It wasn't until she installed a hidden camera she had purchased for $330 over the Internet in her home last week that, Addison said, she found out she was wrong.

“I was just questioning whether she was doing things I had asked of her and how she was spending her day,” Addison said. “And quite frankly, I just wanted to see my children during the day after being with them for nearly seven months.”

Because the camera she bought allowed real-time access from the Web, she was able to log on at work to a site to get a live look at what was going on in her living room.

“At first, I didn’t see anything wrong,” Addison said. “And then, I logged back on a little later to check on them, and I started to see things I didn’t like."

She said she saw Gavin unattended on the couch and kicking.

“I'm screaming at my desk, ‘Pick him up, pick him up, pick him up,’ and (the nanny) proceeds to look at him and continue on doing whatever she was doing,” Addison said. “And that went on for six minutes.”

Later, she saw her other son fall from the nanny’s chest into the side of the couch.

“She was, at one point, holding Bryce up on her chest, but was too concerned with what was on the television and changing the channel. When he fell off her chest, she didn’t pick him up right away,” Addison said. “And then, she went and held him upside down, which, to me, is just not how you should hold a baby,”

Addison left work early, returned home, told the nanny what she had seen and fired her.

"She never denied what she did," Addison said. "I gave her examples of what she did to the boys. She never denied it."

When Addison started watching the video files on the camera’s hard drive, she discovered more.

“She would just grab them by where their shirt or where their buttons or zippers are, and pick them up like bales of hay or puppies or kittens, with no care how she was doing it, and sling them on the sofa.”

“It got worse and worse and worse. I had to stop watching,” Addison said.

She called police, who took a report, watched the video and interviewed the nanny. They said the treatment did not rise to the level of being a crime, however.

“They just told her, ‘You know, this is not how you are to treat children, infants. You shouldn’t be caring for infants,’” Addison said.

WRAL contacted the nanny, whose name and identity are being withheld because she has not been charged with a crime. She had no comment and asked that she not be contacted again.

Addison said she wishes she had gotten the video camera earlier.

"We joked about (getting a 'nanny cam') when we knew were going to have a nanny come in to keep the boys," she said. Her initial feelings were to trust whoever was in her home.

But she wants other parents to know the technology is easy to use – she installed her camera within five minutes – and in her opinion, worth the investment.

“The technology is available. It’s affordable,” Addison said. “Anybody that can afford a nanny can afford a camera.”

“I probably never would have suspected, never would have known, and she would still be here had I not had the camera,” Addison said. “And it scares me to think what could have happened to my children.”

373 Comments

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  • conniesrains Feb 22, 2008

    I was outraged at the way the nanny was handling defenseless babies and I think her name should have been revealed!! She has no business being around children. I commend the mother on how she handled the matter. If that had been my babies, I am afraid I would have gone in swinging and talked later!!!

  • lovecarolinagutters Feb 22, 2008

    I think all parents that leave their children under the care of some else in their homes, should have a nanny cam. I also think the nanny should be aware of it. But, in this particular instance, although I think the mother did the right thing, I believe the media is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  • tarheelalum Feb 22, 2008

    I agree that nobody should be criticized for working as opposed to staying at home with their children b/c it is indeed their choice and who knows their situation and reasons for doing so! I will add, however, that too often both parents(when there are two parents in the household) choose to work not b/c of actual necessity, but so they can have a more comfortable life...which isn't shameful or anything...just a choice as opposed to a necessity. I would certainly like either me or my wife to stay until preschool age, but not any longer as the benefits of such social interaction are well documented and children are often higher achieving academically.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 22, 2008

    Well its has been another hot topic. Enjoyed all the comments. Have a great weekend. Grab a book and read something interesting. Keep warm. PEACE LOVE UNDERSTANDING

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 22, 2008

    mawestbrook: Way to go. Its tuff being a single parent with no help. You are a role model to all single parents. Get a job. Thanks.

  • tarheelalum Feb 22, 2008

    Also...$300 isn't what most people would consider "affordable" There are substantially cheaper versions out there though and certainly worth every penny! If neither me or my wife choose to stay home when we have children, it would certainly be a must for every room in the house!

  • Alicat Feb 22, 2008

    no.ral.old guy: One parent at home does not guarantee the well being of a child PERIOD. In fact lots of babies are abused by moms and dads.....Quit making this an issue of whether or not this lady should work or stay home. She obviously has her reasons for working and they may be because she HAS to....and it is NOT for you to judge. That nanny should never care for babies. I would be appalled to know that any sitter was tossing my kids around like she was. That is 100% wrong PERIOD

  • showmenative Feb 22, 2008

    "Another reason why 1 parent should be home . Period."

    no.ral.old guy
    So as a single mom, I should stay home and collect checks from the government because "1 parent should be home". I did not aspire to be a single mom, I was married and my husband wanted kids, I agreed. Then after kids were born, he starts cheating on me, even got me pregnant while having an affair behind my back. I offered to work to save marriage, he was not interested so now I am single mom and support my kids with my job, not govt. checks. Do you still stand behind your comment? I bet you have a similar low opinion of women who do stay at home with kids and collect welfare.

  • tarheelalum Feb 22, 2008

    Veekee...Rev. RB is a woman. Although the video didn't depict any abuse per se...it did make me uncomfortable and I can say with certainity I would be horrified if I witnessed that with my own children and would have reacted the same way as the mother. Yesterday I said she may have overreacted by calling the police and although it wasn't even as bad as I thought it could've been...it still made me cringe to watch it.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 22, 2008

    lawpirate: There was not abuse. The nanny was just "who cares" attitude but was not abusive. Police came to mothers house and afterwards did not even charge the nanny for anything. So that should tell us all something. The children was not ever hurt or in danger. Many on this board making comments are just making a mountain out of a mole hill.

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