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Norman caregiver faces inquiry

BY RANDY ELLIS Published: November 4, 2008
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A Norman home day care operator is under investigation after a state worker discovered a 5-year-old boy was left alone at the day care center for two hours Thursday.

Melody Johnson, the day care provider, agreed to voluntarily cease caring for children the day the child was found, said Mary Leaver, communications manager for the state Department of Human Services.

Additional action could be taken against Johnson once the DHS investigation is complete, Leaver said.

Johnson did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The boy was found alone in Johnson’s home by a DHS worker making an unannounced licensing visit about 3 p.m. Thursday, Leaver said.

Johnson returned home almost two hours later with two other children. She was not the mother of any of the three children, Leaver said.

"The 5-year-old and two other children were all returned safe and unharmed to the custody of their parents,” Leaver said. "This case is with the licensing supervisor and is being thoroughly investigated to determine if other children were possibly in care that day.”

Leaver said the DHS licensing worker called Norman police when she found the boy alone.

An officer was sent to the scene, but no police report was filed and no arrest was made, police said.

Leaver said DHS sent a worker to Johnson’s home Friday to make sure no children were still in her care. No children were found.

CONTRIBUTING:

Staff Writer Jane Cannon

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