A Texas mother who enrolled her 2-year-old son in a home-based daycare that’s not the centerpiece of an abuse investigation, opened up on Thursday about the physical and emotional scarring her child experienced, reportedly at the hands of the daycare owner.
Ta’lor Oliver, from Forney, Texas, spoke with DailyMailTV after a Mesquite daycare owner was charged with child abuse after allegedly strapping children in carseats for hours on end, with ligatures around their necks to prevent movement. The suspect, Rebecca Anderson, who owned the home-based “Becky’s Home Childcare” in Mesquite, is also accused of giving the children drugs to make them sleep before putting them inside a closet in the master bedroom of the home.
“Every day I would drop him off and I would go to work [not] knowing that he could be in a closet or in a car seat for up to seven hours,” Oliver said, referring to her toddler son, Triston. “I know there were plenty of times when I picked him up and he’d be hoarse, and I never thought that that would happen.”
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Anderson’s business had been open 20 years before the allegations came to surface. Apparently the daycare owner had glowing reviews online, one of the reasons Oliver chose to send her son there to begin with.
“The reviews were good, when I went to meet her, her house was super clean. When I brought Triston with me, she kinda let him roam around, she showed me all the rooms. Everything just seemed OK that I would trust her enough to let my son go there.”
After the first visit, however, Anderson wouldn’t let Oliver back in the house. Although it remains unclear why, Oliver would hand her son over in the morning to Anderson at her door, then pick him up in the evenings the same way.
“When we did come pick up Triston, she would never keep the door open long. You never saw inside, you never saw any other kid. I never heard any other kid. Typically you hear kids playing, laughing, music … silent. I never heard anything.”
Oliver eventually started noticing bruising and abrasions on her son but gave Anderson the “benefit of the doubt.” The toddler was also more lethargic than usual. Triston’s grandmother, Keonna, questioned Anderson but the daycare owner claimed everything was fine.
Police arrested Anderson last Friday after a concerned father of a 6-month-old placed a small camera on his son’s carseat, which allegedly showed that “the defendant (Anderson) yanked (the infant) out of his car seat by his ankle to change his diaper. The defendant was later observed pulling (the child) up from the ground by his bib which was attached to his neck.”
Prior to Anderson’s arrest, Oliver also spotted abrasions around her son’s neck, carpet burns, and how anxious the boy was to leave the daycare. She also noticed her son’s skin peeling and summed it up to his allergy medication, but became alarmed when her doctor told her that “baby Zyrtec” should not cause skin peels or rashes.
Further, Oliver pointed out that the “sippy cup” she sent to daycare with her son was always filled up with juice or other liquids each morning before she dropped him off. When she picked him, the cup still had the morning’s liquid in it. Triston would often cry for food on the way home from daycare, and during the boy’s routine medical checkup, she learned that he had not been gaining weight.
“I would put Triston’s sippy cup in his bag and it came back with the same amount of whatever was in there, water or juice that left the home that morning,” Oliver explained.
Oliver and the baby’s grandmother are both grateful for the man who installed a camera on his baby’s carseat, which is ultimately what led to Anderson’s arrest.
“You have to be a voice for your kids because we put so much trust in her. I never would have imagined,” Keonna said. “I would have probably been the grandmother yelling ‘free Miss Becky!’ That’s how much trust we had in this lady. It’s so disappointing.”
Triston is now at a new daycare, where he’s thriving.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Mesquite Police Sgt. Joseph Thompson stated that after viewing footage from the camera attached to the carseat, authorities obtained a warrant to search Anderson’s home. They found additional evidence that other children may have been abused. Detectives located three children strapped in their carseat and placed inside the closet of a bedroom, some with ”shoelace-like ligatures” around their necks.
After police presented her with video evidence, Anderson reportedly “admitted that she gave medication (Tylenol) to make them stop crying and to make her job easier.”
When questioned about the ligatures around the children’s necks, Anderson reportedly said it helped ensure the children wouldn’t grab their car seat latches and get out of their carseats, according to the Star-Telegram.
Court documents indicated that although there were no apparent bruises, the children had to be “cut free from the (car) seats.”
“There was definitely some evidence that they may have been medicated and that they were possibly being restrained,” Thompson said.
Authorities continue to interview the parents of all of the children in the daycare. Police indicated that nine children “may have been exposed to unnecessary doses of over the counter medicine, extended periods of restricted movement, and poor hygiene practices.”
Anderson is facing 9 counts of felony child endangerment. Her daycare license is currently valid, but could be taken away, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
Anyone parent who has ever place their child in Anderson’s care is asked to call the Mesquite Police Department at 972-285-6336.
[Feature Photo: Rebecca Anderson/Handout]