4-year-old boy briefly missing from Bangor daycare
BANGOR, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Bangor mother faced her worst fears when she goes to pick up her 4-year-old son on his first day of school and he was nowhere to be found!
He was eventually found unhurt but alone in a hot and locked classroom.
Police and child protective Services are now investigating.
The mother of the 4- year-old boy says he was traumatized by the incident. School administrators have apologized, and two teachers--who we're told had significant experience--have been fired.
The first day of school was supposed to be an exciting time for 4-year-old Nehemiah Candrell. But that excitement quickly changed to fear.
"He doesn't want to go to school," said Larissa Cantrell. "He definitely doesn't."
It all started Monday afternoon, when Larissa went to pick her son up at the playground area at the Tri-County Head Start, in Bangor.
"I asked, 'Where is he?' From the corner of my eyes, the teacher ran back into the school," Larissa said.
Cantrell says she and two teachers responsible for her son frantically searched inside the school.
"They were saying could have he went into this class, could he have went into a restroom, and he wasn't in any place," she said.
Nehemiah was eventually found napping inside a locked classroom, with a temperature over 90 degrees.
The Bangor Head Start Director said a grandmother helper was watching the boy, but left the room.
"There was 3 or 4 minutes…where he was alone," said Tri-County Head Start Education Services Administrator Mandy Orlando.
Tri-County Head Start says a 46-year-old teacher and her teaching assistant were fired as a result.
"Number one priority is counting their kids. We count them every time during every transition and that didn't happen yesterday," Orlando said.
Bangor police are still investigating.
"The kid was there for a short period, he wasn't injured, it doesn't appear to be intentional," said Bangor Police Chief Tommy Simpson.
Larissa Cantrell says her son won't be going back to the school, and has some advice for parents.
"Follow your gut feeling. I had the gut feeling in the morning when I dropped my son off...just be aware," she said.
The director says each employee had three years of experience.