Neighbor Reacts to Daycare Provider's Arrest
CREATED Mar. 19, 2013
Omaha, NE - "I just think this was a freak accident," Wendy Petersen said.
Wendy Petersen can't believe her neighbor who used to run a daycare near her house is now in jail in connection with the death of a child. "I do feel bad because with the way she handled her babysitting, her daycare, it never should have happened to her," Petersen said.
Petersen says her son used to play with Elizabeth Harding's son. She says Harding took her daycare seriously, even telling Petersen's son he couldn't come over to play until all her daycare kids went home.
"She didn't want anything to come inbetween her being the good babysitter that she wanted to be, I just think this was an accident," said Petersen.
Police booked Harding for child neglect resulting in death. Officers say she was taking care of Chase Hunter last month when he became tangled in a car seat harness while taking a nap. The little boy died. Investigators say Harding operated an unlicensed day care, but won't tell us how many kids she cared for.
According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, it is legal to operate unlicensed while taking care of three kids from different families. If you care for four or more, you need a license.
Chase Hunter's family released a statement through their attorney saying: "The Omaha Police and Douglas County Attorney have our confidence and support."