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Daycare shut down after owner's criminal past surfaces

Drew Karedes

Daycare shut down after owner's criminal past surfaces

CREATED Apr. 4, 2012

 Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A Las Vegas daycare suddenly closed its doors after the state learned of its owner's criminal past.

Police have executed an emergency closure at Children "R" The Future daycare near Nellis Boulevard and Boulder Highway.

According to investigators, owner Carol Kirby is a wanted fugitive in Dooly County, GA. Police caught up with her Wednesday afternoon and arrested her on a probation violation.

Someone with a criminal history certainly does not sound like an eligible candidate to become an owner of a daycare. However, a supervisor with Nevada Childcare Licensing tells Action News that an immediate background check was not performed on this woman.

The supervisor says that's because Kirby claimed she wasn't going to be interacting with children when she took ownership of the facility in September of 2011.

"They don't like to do their job. They like to get they paychecks, but they don't like to do they jobs," said Armelia Hunter, who lives directly across from the daycare.

Nevada Childcare Licensing says that the state later learned that Kirby was in close contact with the children.

Kirby's checkered past soon came to the attention of state officials. Her Nevada daycare license has been suspended.

"I'm glad it's closed. If it's something to do with kids, those babies are innocent," added Armelia Hunter.

Police tell Action News that Kirby goes by a number of names, including Carol Copeland. 

It is under the last name Copeland, that the Dooly County Sheriff's Office confirms a criminal history. 

Paperwork reveals that she was arrested in 2007 on a number of charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping.

The Dooly County Sheriff's Office says she pleaded down to lesser charges and eventually received five years probation.

"It's not good news. It doesn't make you feel comfortable about taking your kids to a daycare I'll tell you that," said Adam Gutierrez, who lives near the daycare.

Parents received an urgent call to come pick up their children when the daycare was being shut down.

A Nevada Childcare Licensing supervisor tells Action News that state law has be remedied to prevent future situations like this from happening.

Latisha Brown says that up until recently Nevada state law did not require background checks on daycare owners if the owner claimed to be taking a hands off approach with children.

Brown claims that the state now checks every owner of every daycare facility.

Records show Carol Kirby is now behind bars at the Clark County Detention Center on a fugitive charge. She is awaiting extradition back to Dooly County, GA.