PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WPMI) - Attacked at a daycare. A family says their 18-month-old son was mauled by another child at a Mississippi daycare after the owner stepped away into another room.
WPMI spoke to the heartbroken parents who are demanding justice for their son Dakota.
18-month-old Dakota Hudson is too young to talk, but the brutal marks on his body tell a heartbreaking story.
Pictures capture the physical injuries along Dakota's body: Claw-marks across his face and chest, scratches on his eyes. Dakota's parents say there are emotional scars too that he'll now need to see a therapist about.
Dakota's mother Latoye Sutter says she dropped her son off at the Pooh and the Crew home daycare in Pascagoula last Thursday, Dec. 6. A few hours later, she got an alarming text message she will never forget.
Sutter showed WPMI the text messages she received last Thursday night, alerting her to the fact her son was clawed by another kid at the Pooh and the Crew daycare.
Sutter says the messages are from the owner who told her Dakota was sleeping on a cot and a four-year-old boy was next to him playing on an i-pad.
"I'm not sure how you’re going to take this," the owner wrote in a text message, adding "but it’s bad."
Sutter says the owner told her she left the room for just a few seconds to light the fireplace then heard screams and cries from Dakota who was suddenly covered in blood.
Sutter says the daycare employees did not call 911 but she did and rushed her baby to the hospital.
Now there's a police report, a DHS investigation and the Department of Health is looking into the facility.
WPMI went to Pooh and the Crew daycare Monday to get the owner's side. We heard adults inside but no one answered our knocks or calls.
The Mississippi Department of Health licenses and regulates daycares. Officials declined an interview with us but say this daycare is not licensed and they are going to send someone to investigate.
Not all day cares need to be licensed according to the Mississippi department of health. However, we are told all daycares must be licensed if there's six or more children under the age of 13 who are not related to the daycare owner.