COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The owner of a Colorado Springs daycare and two of her employees were in court Thursday to hear the charges against them. The arrest warrants for Carla Faith, age 58, Christina Swauger, age 35, and Katelynne Nelson, age 31, were all signed two days before Christmas concluding a six week investigation by Colorado Springs Police Department.
The 58-year-old Faith didn't stay long, her attorney waived the formal reading of charges in court.
Back on November 13, officers assisting child welfare inspectors searched the Play Mountain Place on East Willamette where they found a false wall hiding access to a basement. When they searched the basement, they found 26 children being supervised by two adults. All of the kids were age 2 or younger. The officers reported that many of them had soiled or wet diapers and were sweaty and thirsty.
Faith's daycare license authorized her to care for up to 6 children, but only two of those six could be under the age of two. She and Swauger both denied having any children in the home and told officers earlier that day there was no basement. In addition to misdemeanor child abuse, they're also charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 Felony.
Katelynne Nelson, 31, did not have a private attorney and heard the child abuse and felony drug possession charges she's facing read aloud. During their search, officers found a camouflage backpack with several of Nelson's pay slips inside. The backpack also had a folded piece of paper with three syringes inside and two plastic baggies containing what later tested positive as methamphetamine.
A fourth suspect, 24-year old Valerie Frequez, was also charged with misdemeanor child abuse but was not scheduled to appear in court.
In early December, the parents of 19 children cared for by Carla Faith at either Play Mountain Place or Counterpoint School filed a lawsuit against her and her businesses. They're seeking damages for negligence leading to behavioral problems and developmental delays in their kids.
Faith, Swauger and Nelson are all currently scheduled to appear next on January 8, 2020.