COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado Springs daycare owner and two employees were formally charged Wednesday morning in connection to an investigation where police found 26 children hiding behind a false wall.
Daycare owner Carla Faith, 58, is accused of hiding 26 children behind a false wall in a basement at Play Mountain Place on Willamette Avenue, one of two facilities she owns.
Court records showed Faith, 31-year-old Katelynne Nelson, and 35-year-old Christina Swauger were facing 26 counts of misdemeanor child abuse for each child found in the facility.
All three were formally charged with misdemeanor child abuse.
One more suspect, 24-year-old Valerie Fresquez, is facing the same charges but will not appear in court.
Faith and Swauger were charged with felony attempting to influence a public servant.
Nelson was charged with felony controlled substance possession for methamphetamine and needles found in her backpack at the daycare.
In November, the Department of Health Services and officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department raided Play Mountain Place on Willamette Avenue following multiple complaints.
Officers discovered a false wall that led to a basement where they found 26 children, all under the age of 2, with dirty or wet diapers and were very thirsty, according to court documents.
While searching the basement, authorities found a backpack that had syringes and two bags of methamphetamine.
Those with the Colorado Springs Police Department want to remind the public that their investigation is not into Play Mountain Place, but the situation that occurred when officers responded.
"This is not going back and contacting every employee. It's really, these charges stem from that contact that day," Lieutenant Jim Sokolik with CSPD said.
Faith was only licensed to care for a maximum of six children. She owned both Play Mountain Place and Counterpoint School, both have since been shut down.
Swauger will return to court Feb. 12 while Faith and Nelson will appear in court one week after on Feb. 19.