A daycare owner is accused of leaving two 2-year-olds and a 4-year-old alone in a car for around half an hour while shopping at BJ’s in Manchester Tuesday morning.
A BJ’s employee who was walking through the parking lot heard the three little girls crying and called police at 11 a.m.
The officers arrived at the same time the suspects, 52-year-old Beth Rich, and 51-year-old Mark Babcock, both of the same address in Coventry, left the store, police said.
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The couple said they had just gone into the store for about five minutes and didn’t realize that they couldn’t leave the children unattended in a vehicle for a short period of time given the fact that they had left the windows cracked, police said. They also said that the children were from Rich’s daycare business.
Police said they estimated that the children had been left in the vehicle for around half an hour. The girls were not hurt and were returned to their parents.
Rich and Babcock were charged with three counts of leaving children under 12 unsupervised. They were released on $2.500 bond and they are due in court on May 15.
“Shock. I was very upset. I was angry," one of the parents, David Cerrigione, said.
“This is somebody that we trusted with the life of our baby," Cerrigione said.
The Office of Early Childhood issued a summary suspension of Rich's daycare, which means program services are suspended. An administrative hearing has been scheduled for mid-May.