Louisville daycare investigated after child wanders into the str - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville daycare investigated after child wanders into the street

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- State officials are investigating after a toddler wandered away from his daycare and was found in the street by a passerby one block from the freeway.

On Wednesday, the driver who spotted the child explained what she didn't like in the daycare's response that prompted a state investigation.

His name is Lennox Loving and his little laugh steals hearts, but when Shirley Zurschmeide first met the 21-month-old little boy, she says he was in danger.

"I could have run over that child," Zurschmeide said. "Anybody could have run over that child."

Love was not the first emotion she felt.

"I was so shaken, just thinking about 'what if...'" she said.

Lennox attended daycare at Kids Paradise Enrichment Center located at 3400 Vermont Avenue.

Zurschmeide says she found the one-year-old in the street, near the corner of Vermont Avenue and Louis Coleman Jr. Drive. The traffic in that intersection is constant because the entrance to the Watterson Expressway is one block away.

"I'm saying, 'for sure I'm going to see an adult running toward the baby,' but there was no one around," Zurschmeide said.

Zurschmeide says she stopped the cars behind her, picked up the child and was then met by the daycare staff.

"They say, 'oh, somebody left the gate open,'" Zurschmeide said.

She gave Lennox back, but wasn't comfortable with the worker's response

"They just couldn't wait to get away from me," she said. Prompting the concerned driver to call Child Protective Services once she got home. The incident happened May 15, but Lennox's mother, Toni Shaw, says she didn't know anything about it for a week.

"Child Protective Services called me," Shaw said. "The daycare didn't tell me anything."

"The daycare owner said she wasn't there when it happened and the workers denied it happening," Shaw added.

But CPS has confirmed the report and the state Inspector General is now investigating the daycare.

Workers we spoke with did not wish to comment.

"If you want to get in contact with my owner, that's how you find her," one worker said handing over a business card. "But we don't have any comments."

Lennox has not returned to Kid's Paradise. His mother is looking for a new daycare.

"Am I supposed to act like 'no big deal' because he didn't get killed or injured?" Shaw asked.

She says she's thankful for that passerby -- and the kindness in her heart.

"She saved his life and she's an angel," Shaw said.

The Inspector General's office would only say the investigation into the daycare is ongoing, but if it's found that Lennox was neglected when he got into the street, the case will go to police and prosecutors for potential charges.

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