COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A mother tells CBS4 she could never understand why her child suddenly didn’t want to return to Play Mountain Place in Colorado Springs. The home day care closed after authorities found 26 children hidden behind a false wall in the basement.
Betsy Murphy had been taking her son to the day care since April. She said she loved how the owner Carla Marie Faith ran her business.
“I intentionally placed my son here because I thought it was the best day care in town,” said Murphy. “She interacted appropriately with my son. He went to her. He loved her. He loved the other caregivers. It was always clean, never chaotic.”
The week of Nov. 3, Murphy saw a red flag. Her son no longer liked going to day care.
“I did prompt them because he kept saying, ‘Don’t take me to the little house. Don’t put me downstairs, don’t put me downstairs,'” said Murphy.
She didn’t have much time to investigate because on Tuesday, she got a text from Faith saying that the day care was shutting down.
“I texted her immediately back and was like, ‘What? I don’t understand,'” said Murphy.
On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Human Services and Colorado Springs Police did a welfare check at the Play Mountain Place after receiving complaints that the facility was housing more children in their care than they are licensed to house.
At first, officers didn’t find any kids inside and Faith refused to cooperate. Soon, they heard the sounds of children coming from inside the home. Officers found a false wall that led to the finished basement where they located two adults and 26 kids.
Betsy said she feels betrayed.
“When I think about all the lies she told me, I think they were caring for the children but also caring for them in the secret room we didn’t know about,” said Murphy.
Carla Marie Faith also owned and was licensed to house kids at The Counterpoint School just down the road from Play Mountain Place. Both day cares were closed Friday.
The Colorado Department of Human Services confirmed they are also investigating whether Faith was housing kids at unlicensed locations in addition to the two licensed locations.
An internet search reveals an article from the L.A. Times profiling a woman charged with very similar accusations in California in the 1990’s. The Colorado Department of Human Services and Colorado Springs Police said they are investigating whether it is the same woman who ran the Colorado Springs day cares.