Our network

MABLETON: Daycare owner: I have to make it right | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

MABLETON: Daycare owner: I have to make it right
MABLETON: Daycare owner: I have to make it right

MABLETON, Ga. -- A baby was locked up at a daycare after the business closed for the day. Now, the owner vows, "I have to make it right," and the baby's mother emerges as her biggest defender.

"I am not ok," Sue Pierce said, tears running down her cheeks. "I'm not ok with this, I can't fix this. I can just make sure that it never, ever happens again."

Pierce has been in the daycare business for 18 years and is the owner of River Oaks Day Care in Mableton. She calls the children that stay there her "grandkids." She has several families that have sent multiple kids through her building.

"If anybody had asked me how this could have happened yesterday morning, I would have told you it couldn't," she said.

She had worked 12 hours Tuesday. Her closing employee had worked more than 11. They locked up the daycare and left.

"I asked if the children were there," Pierce remembered. "I did not so my usual walk through. I did not do my usual camera check. I was tired. It's not an excuse. It's just a fact."

Lakristy Rogers pulled up at 5:55 p.m. Through the window, she could see her 8-month-old daughter, Miciah, sleeping in a crib.

"I could see her through the window that she was asleep, so she wasn't crying or upset, so that made me feel a little bit better," Rogers said. At first, she thought a worker had gone to the bathroom or gotten sick.

After 30 minutes of calling and knocking, she called police. Her daughter had been left behind.

"I knew one way or the other, I was going to get in there," Rogers said. "I could see her the whole time, so I wasn't panicked."

Miciah was fine. She slept through the whole thing. Pierce, the daycare owner, is devastated.

"I don't know what to call it," she said. "Negligence, accident, overly fatigued."

When asked if they were still considering charges, Cobb County Police spokesman officer Mike Bowman said, "There is always the possibility of charges being filed. However, this case is still under investigation so we don't have an answer to that yet."

Pierce said she's not worried about that. She's worried about her parents, and her kids.

"If they take them out, I will worry about them. I know how compassionate I am about these children. I know how protective I am," she said. "And yes, I let this happen. I have no defense in this."

Today, LaKristy Rogers emerges as her biggest defender. After 10 years as a customer, she says she trusts Pierce... still.

"I'm just really taking the time to be more grateful instead of worrying about all the different situations that COULD have happened," Rogers said. "I know this is the best daycare in Mableton."

Pierce has not spoken to all of the parents yet. Some remain undecided if they'll keep their children with her. She says she understands. "If I were a parent, what would I do? I don't know. But I know I love these kids," she said. "And I have to make it right."