A mom from Florida has arrived at her daughter’s daycare, ready to pick her up. Panic hit her when she realized the doors were locked – and her 2-year-old was trapped inside, alone.
On Tuesday, Stephanie Martinez picked up her daughter, Anastasia, from a KinderCare daycare center in Plantation and she appeared closed with the lights off, NBC 6 reported.
She called her best friend, Samantha Scaramellino, to see if she had picked up Anastasia, but she hadn’t.
According to a Facebook post from Scaramellino, Martinez walked around the building and banged on the windows. Shortly after, her daughter’s head appeared in a darkened room.
“The window is way higher than her, somehow after hearing the slam she pushed a chair in the dark to the window to see,” Scaramellino wrote.
Martinez called 911 and Plantation police and firefighters arrived to rescue the 2-year-old.
“She’s super traumatized,” she told NBC 6. “It’s not fair.”
A parent who picked up their child 10 to 15 minutes before Martinez arrived said they saw several children still at daycare and Anastasia running around screaming, according to Scaramellino’s Facebook post.
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“It’s been a really, really difficult time”: A group of moms wanted to release some stress. So they gathered in a field and shouted.
KinderCare closes at 6 p.m., but often stays open for parents who regularly pick up their children late. The daycare assistant director and a teacher were the last to leave around 6:20 p.m., according to an incident report reviewed by NBC 6.
Martinez arrived 8 minutes later.
The circumstances under which Anastasia was left alone are unclear, and Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Services and Plantation Police are investigating the incident.
“It’s the worst feeling ever. You feel helpless,” Martinez told the outlet. “There’s nothing you can do to console her. She was stressed out and definitely crying the whole time she was there alone.”
Follow journalist Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mom finds 2-year-old daughter locked up alone in Florida daycare