After baby is hurt, SC daycare investigated by DSS, sheriff - WNCN: News, Weather

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After baby is hurt, SC daycare investigated by DSS, sheriff

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HARDEEVILLE, SC -  It was a parent's worst nightmare brought to life, when a 3 month old baby was picked up from her Hardeeville daycare -- bruised, cut and bleeding from what parents say they were told was an accident.

Now that the baby's parents say daycare staff's stories don't add up, they are hoping to find answers on what happened to injure their child that day. The Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Jasper County Sheriff's Office have launched investigations at Touched By an Angel Daycare.
"I wanted to cry. I was like 'Oh my God'...I was just expecting a bruise, and I saw that," dad Michael Wright says. "Her nose was bruised. Her lip was swollen, and it was busted. Then her eye was puffy around the bottom. She had scrapes on her forehead and this eye, the right eye," he says.

Wright says his baby Makenzie's daycare had warned him she was bruised from a toy that fell on her face on May 30.

 "They said it was a minor accident, that she had a bruise on her nose," Wright says.

However, he was horrified by what he saw. He is still haunted at the hurt he imagines his daughter went through.

"It still hurts to this day. Every time I see her you know, sometimes I think about it," Wright says. "You know, it was a traumatizing experience."

Wright says staff told him a toy fell on Makenzie's face. However, he asked DSS and the sheriff's office to investigate the matter when he says staff stories weren't adding up.

"It was just kind of hard to believe that a toy fell on her face," Wright says.

According to Wright, a worker recanted her original story of being present when his daughter was injured. He says the doctor that staff told him checked out Makenzie's injuries also told Wright he never did.

DSS records show Touched By an Angel Daycare has had nine complaints filed this year, and has a 'Level C' rating. This means the daycare meets basic health and safety licensing regulations with DSS. Wright's complaint is still under review, but he feels the daycare should close its doors.

"Obviously, if an immobile baby can suffer like that, then they're not taking the proper steps to make sure everybody's safe in there," Wright says.

A Touched By an Angel daycare worker refused to comment on the case, and Director Tangela Peeples has not returned News Three's calls. DSS says all the information they find will be released at the discretion of the sheriff's office.

Chief Deputy Roy Hughes says so far, all that can be released is the status that the investigation is ongoing.

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