KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Days after authorities closed a Blue Springs day care, the mother of an injured child comes forward.
Nikki McHendry thumbed through pictures of her son. These aren't pictures of a mother's pride, but a mother's nightmare.
"Bruising right there and all these red marks," she shook her head. "He had half a black eye the next day."
She says she found these injuries after picking up her 17-month-old after his first full day at a new day care.
She rushed him to the doctor, who ordered them to the emergency room where police took a report. He had been in the care of a woman she trusted.
"She had watched me when I was younger," McHendry said. "So I didn't even question whether she was safe."
Authorities shut down Mary's Little Lambs days later and revoked the license of owner Mary Douglas.
McHendry said Douglas had given her an account of what happened, but she still couldn't figure out why her son had red marks on his torso.
"I wonder if those red marks are from a rope." she said she had wondered.
Documents show Mary Douglas admitted to putting a rope over the child when he wouldn't nap. Later while cooking lunch, she told officials she held him in time out with her arm and leg. While struggling, the child hit his head on kitchen cabinet knobs. Another child told officials Douglas slapped the boy.
"My child was screaming and crying and I wasn't there to save him," said McHendry. "I don't know how to get past that."
Douglas stated the child was 'a terror,' biting and pinching. But McHendry insists she was constantly checking in and offered to pick him up. Now she's worried her son is traumatized.
"The look on his face was pure terror," she said. "He was just horrified."
Any day care, she admits, is now out of the question for her son.
Missouri officials maintain a state-wide family care safety registry, designed to warn potential employers or clients.
If you want to check on a possible day care provider, call 1-866-422-6872.
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