Tacoma day care ordered to shut down, accused of failing to report abuse

by: Kevin McCarty Updated:

TACOMA, Wash. —

A Tacoma day care was ordered to shut down when the state Department of Early Learning accused the owner and staff members there of failing to report signs of abuse on a boy who was later killed.

Little Lambs Children's Center at 1122 South Woodlawn Street closed its doors Tuesday after receiving a letter from the DEL outlining the allegations.

One parent told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News she received a phone call and was told she had one hour to pick up her kids before the day care shut down.

The day care was once attended by 3-year-old Terric Davis, who died from injuries to his head and abdomen at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital last week. Derrick Myers, 28, the boyfriend of Terric’s mother, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the child’s death.

In a letter obtained by KIRO 7, an investigator accused Little Lambs owner Petra Waiters and staff members of failing to comply with a law that requires any signs of abuse be reported immediately.

The letter states:

"You and four other staff members were aware that a child in your care had unexplained bruises and neglected to report the bruises to Child Protective Service.”

When asked about the allegations and ordered to shut down, Waiters said, “We can’t talk about to you about it right now.”

In a telephone interview, DEL spokeswoman Kara Klotz said Tacoma police detectives, who conducted follow-up interviews after Terric was killed, uncovered evidence that led to the shutdown.

“Law enforcement interviewed the child care center staff and found they were aware of the abuse,” Klotz said.

The DEL continues its investigation. Waiters can appeal the order to shut down.