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Sydney Zimmerman | Slade Zimmerman | Source: Facebook.com/yahoolifestyle | Facebook.com/WLOXTV
Sydney Zimmerman | Slade Zimmerman | Source: Facebook.com/yahoolifestyle | Facebook.com/WLOXTV

Day Care Employees Lock Boy in Dark Closet, Not Expecting His Mom to Come Earlier than Usual

Ayesha Muhammad
Jun 13, 2022
12:40 A.M.

A mother who left her little boy at a daycare facility thought he'd be safe until she went to pick him up a little earlier than the usual pick-up time. Much to her dismay, what she witnessed at the daycare center was deeply upsetting.

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Every parent wants their children to feel loved, protected, and cherished. Sometimes, parents might leave their kids at childcare centers where trained workers supervise them and help them learn essential skills, like problem-solving and social interaction.

Sydney Zimmerman. | Source: Facebook.com/RealtorMarlenaHamilton

Sydney Zimmerman. | Source: Facebook.com/RealtorMarlenaHamilton

But sadly, there can be exceptions where a parent's worst nightmare might be realized, discovering that the person they trusted with their child's safety ended up being the one to jeopardize it. Today's story revolves around a similar scenario.

Sydney Zimmerman lived in Phenix City, Alabama, and was a happy mother to a little boy, Slade. Every day, she dropped her child off at a home daycare center in her hometown and picked him up after a few hours.

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Back in 2017, the mother recalled leaving early to pick up her son from the daycare facility. However, she said she could have never guessed what awaited her. Had she not arrived before the usual pick-up time, she would have never found out anything.

A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

So, what exactly did Zimmerman discover when she went to pick up little Slade from the daycare? To her horror, her sweet boy was trapped in a closet without any air conditioning, strapped to a car seat that didn't even belong to him. She added:

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"He [Slade] could have overheated and died."

Sydney Zimmerman | Source: Facebook.com/RealtorMarlenaHamilton

Sydney Zimmerman | Source: Facebook.com/RealtorMarlenaHamilton

The livid mother described that her son was in such a terrible condition that he could have easily put something on his head and suffocated inside the closet with no ventilation. She said she was shocked and furious at the daycare workers for mistreating her son.

Following Her Gut Feeling

The Alabama resident explained that had she not followed her gut feeling to pick up her son early, she would have never uncovered the cruelty he was subjected to at the hands of the daycare staff. Zimmerman recalled:

"I followed her [daycare worker] in and then she goes to the closet, opens the closet door, turns the light on and my son is sitting there strapped in a car seat that is not his, and the first thing he says when he sees me is 'mama.'"

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The Worker’s Explanation

The furious mother immediately rescued her son and called the police. But before the officers arrived on the scene, Zimmerman said the daycare worker tried to justify her reportedly cruel action. She recounted:

"She's all...sometimes he doesn't want to take a nap. Sometimes he doesn't this or that."

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Moreover, Zimmerman confessed that she felt it wasn't the first time her son had been left in such a miserable state. "When I dropped my son off, he'd been crying and getting upset when I left him," expressed the concerned mom.

It Wasn’t the First Time

Zimmerman explained that she didn't find out anything earlier because Slade was too small to tell her what he was going through. The aggrieved woman said she couldn't get the picture of her teary-eyed, red-faced boy trapped inside a closet out of her head.

Zimmerman expressed she wasn't satisfied with the outcome and planned to take the case further.

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After the heartbroken mom's complaint, police launched an investigation and discovered that the daycare was operating without a license. Zimmerman said she planned to press charges against the responsible workers for child endangerment, child neglect, and running a business without a license.

Taking Action

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones mentioned that the observations were concerning and lined up with endangering a child's well-being. He further added:

“Certainly, placing a 22-month-old, 21-month-old child in a car seat in a dark closet, which had a lack of ventilation, that’s of grave concern to us as it should be to anyone."

Meanwhile, Zimmerman was also relieved that she showed up at the right time and saved her son. "I don't wish it on anyone," she said. The three daycare workers accused of shutting Slade in a closet appeared in court, and two of them, Cynthia Duman and Jennifer Parette, were acquitted.

Mary Parette was found guilty, charged with one count of child endangerment, and fined $100. However, Zimmerman expressed she wasn't satisfied with the outcome and planned to take the case further.

Here is a story about a mother who found six human bites on her baby's back when she picked him up from daycare.

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