One woman is demanding answers after discovering that her daughter was bitten over two dozen times while she was in the care of daycare workers. Alicia Martin was shocked when she saw the marks on her daughter. While Martin says “it’s hard to tell” exactly how many bite marks are there, she believes there are more than 25.
“It’s stomach-turning. It feels both angry and sad at the same time,” said the Tucson mother, according to a report by Live 5 News. The bite marks were initially covered by her 15-month-old’s clothes, so she didn’t find them until she took her home from daycare and changed her.
“At first, I was like ‘are those really bite marks?’ And then, my brain kinda stopped thinking, and I started crying,” Martin stated. “There’s over 25 plus; it’s hard to tell. 25 would be the minimum that the police officer and I discussed.”
Martin and her husband, both Marine veterans, selected the daycare – Creative Beginnings Preschool – because it was accredited. Additionally, the facility is close to work and the University of Arizona, where Martin is enrolled.
“You always want to protect your children, and I feel like that didn’t happen,” said Martin. “I feel like I left her with someone that didn’t look out for her at all.”
Officers from the Tucson Police Department took an initial report on February 26, the day the incident occurred. Crime Scene Unit employees also took photographs of the girl.
TPD Officer Raymond Smith believes the bites were from another child.
Smith confirmed that the TPD Child Physical Abuse Unit is investigating the incident. As of April 29, no charges have been filed, and no arrests have been made.
A woman at Creative Beginnings Preschool said that the facility has discussed the incident with “the department” and asserts that the claims are unsubstantiated.
“The fact that they didn’t notify me even when I picked her up is just, astounding,” Martin added.
In a statement about the incident, the Arizona Department of Health Services said, “The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is investigating the incident at Creative Beginnings Daycare and is working with law enforcement. The investigation is not complete and ADHS cannot comment on pending investigations.”
“It’s been two months with as far as I know, no repercussions and there’s very unlikely to be any for the daycare,” said Martin.
“Do I know what happened?” she continued. “No, but I know that a child getting bitten that many times would be crying and very upset.”
“The fact that nobody intervened in how many minutes, maybe they were left alone, maybe they just disregarded the cries, I don’t know. But it takes some time to do that kind of biting and my daughter would have been very upset.”
Martin is also worried that, if no action is taken, what happened to her child could happen to someone else’s son or daughter.