A day care owner kept children tied to car seats in her closet, police say

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A Texas day care owner is accused of medicating small children, strapping them to car seats using ligatures tied around their necks and keeping them in a dark closet in her home, authorities said.

Authorities said Rebecca Anderson admitted that she gave the children Tylenol “to make them stop crying and to make her job easier,” then kept them confined for up to seven hours each day, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Anderson, 60, of Mesquite, has been charged with nine counts of endangering a child, according to court documents.

An attorney for Anderson could not immediately be reached for comment.

One of the children’s parents contacted police late last week, stating that he and his wife had attached a small camera to their 6-month-old’s car seat and discovered how Anderson was treating their child. The video apparently revealed that Anderson had “yanked” their child from his car seat by his ankle and, at one point, pulled him up by a bib around his neck, according to court records.

The court records state that the video also showed Anderson give the infant an unknown substance through a syringe. The parent told the police that the child does not need any medication.

On Friday, police searched Anderson’s home in Mesquite, a Dallas suburb, and found several children strapped into car seats – “some of which had the padded inserts removed” – inside a bedroom closet and a bathroom, according to the court records. The doors were closed and the lights were out, the court records state, and at least some of the children had “ligatures around their necks.”

The ligatures were determined to be cotton shoelaces, according to the court documents, and they were so tight that the children had to be “cut free from their seats.”

The court documents said that “the ligatures were tied to the back of the car seat in what appeared to be an attempt to limit movement.” Authorities said that when they questioned Anderson about the children, she admitted that “she tied the ligatures onto the victims in order to limit their movement and prevent them from reaching the latching mechanisms and being able to get out of the seat.”

When asked about the syringe, Anderson first told the investigators that she does not give the children medication but later admitted that she had probably given them Tylenol, according to the court records.

After the investigation, the investigators called the children’s parents to pick them up and advised them to take the children to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

Anderson is being held in Dallas County Jail on a $45,000 bond, according to booking records.

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