Police investigating a welfare complaint at a daycare facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado say they discovered a false wall leading to the homeowner's basement where 26 children - all under the age of 3 - were found.
According to a release from the Colorado Springs Police Department, the Department of Human Services requested assistance with a welfare check at the Play Mountain Place on Wednesday (Nov. 13) after officials received complaints that the daycare was housing more children than was allowed by their license.
However, when officers arrived at the daycare facility, they couldn't find any children on the property. It was only when they tried contacting the owner of the home at her residence that they heard children making noise.
"The owner, identified as 58-year-old Carla Faith, refused to cooperate with officers; however, officers could hear the noises of children coming from her home," Lt. James Sokolik with the Colorado Springs Police Department wrote in a release. "During their investigation, officers found a false wall that led to the home’s basement. When officers walked down the stairs, they located two adults and 26 kids inside a finished basement, all of who were under the age of three-years-old."
Officers immediately began working with The Colorado Department of Human Services to release the children back to their parents.
Faith was not arrested while detectives plan to pursue "appropriate" charges for the owner. Three adult workers at the daycare facility were arrested for misdemeanor child abuse related to neglect, but they were later released and the charges against them dropped pending further investigation.
The daycare's license was immediately suspended, according to a release from the Department of Human Services Childcare Licensing.