A North Carolina woman was charged with six counts of misdemeanor child abuse after she allegedly left eight kids locked inside her daycare center without any adult supervision, a Havelock police spokesman tells PEOPLE.
Danika Edwards could potentially face more charges for operating the unlicensed center illegally, the spokesman says.
A parent allegedly found the eight children – between the ages of 11 months and 7 years old – all alone last Friday when she showed up to pick up her 5-year-old son. At that point, she called police.
The spokesman says Edwards had left the daycare center to pick up more kids and was gone for as long as 30 minutes.
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However, when investigators spoke to Edwards, she allegedly lied about what had happened. “She fabricated a story and said an employee was there at the daycare and had to leave due to a family emergency,” the spokesman says. “This turned out not to be the case.” Edwards was ultimately arrested on Tuesday.
The spokesman says investigators are looking into whether Edwards regularly left the children in her care alone. “Obviously, we want to know whether this was a recurring thing,” he says.
The children allegedly left alone were unharmed. “But anything could have happened,” says the spokesman. “We got lucky.”
Edwards is being held at the Craven County Detention Center. She has not yet entered a plea to the charges against her.
The investigation is ongoing.