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News 5 Investigates: Florence home daycare had history of violat - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

News 5 Investigates: Florence home daycare had history of violations

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FREMONT COUNTY -

A home daycare provider in Florence is facing a felony charge of Child Abuse Resulting in Death after a 9 month old baby died in her care in late April.
The State of Colorado pulled 43-year-old Christine Humphrey's child care license in May.

News 5 Investigates searched county records and interviewed parents and found there were problems at this daycare long before the death occurred.

Karen Runck had enrolled her son with Humphrey for about two years. She said it wasn't one big event, but rather many small things that led to her decision to find other child care.

For example the inappropriate TV shows that were on when she came to pick her son up, the lack sleeping mats or the time she walked in as Humphrey was disciplining a child.

"I think she grabbed his leg or his ankle and yanked him to a sitting position on the couch and started yelling at him full force," Runck said.

Towards the end it, Runck said her son would become fearful about going to Humphrey's house.  She left in March, just weeks before a nine month old infant named Rhett Walker died in Humphrey's care. Runck said she was furious and sickened by the news.

"I had seen, many times when I would come in to pick up my child, babies that would be asleep in their car seats and I wondered where in the world was she? Why wasn't she watching this child," Runck said.

News 5 Investigates obtained Department of Human Services records which detailed numerous inspection violations and safety complaints. On multiple inspections Humphrey did have current CRP training had more kids than her license allowed.

Other inspections found children had access to hazardous items including medications.

A month before Baby Rhett died, inspectors found that children didn't have required beds, cots or other equipment for children to sleep on. During that same inspection case workers noted that Humphrey's husband, a Florence Police Officer, didn't properly unload his gun before storing it, and that b-b guns and ammunition were not locked up as required.

They also confirmed a report that children were left unsupervised while Humphrey and her husband sat in a hot tub in the backyard and smoked from a tobacco pipe. 

Her husband admitted that he "popped" a child meaning he spanked them as punishment after that child allegedly touched another child with his genitals.

Humphrey was not physically arrested. Rather she was given a summons Tuesday for the Class Three Felony. She is scheduled to appear in court for advisement on September 1st.

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