The temporary disappearance of a three-year-old boy from a daycare in Calgary’s southeast has resulted in an investigation by Alberta’s Ministry of Children’s Services.
Kellyanne and Ryan Whittington said they were on their way to pick up their son from Mahogany Learning Centre just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday when they got a call from the daycare saying they hadn’t seen the boy since around 2 p.m.
“She was asking if we had already picked Remi up or to confirm that we had picked him up, because they hadn’t seen him since that time,” Kellyanne said.
“Not knowing where your child is, is the most terrifying experience of your life.”
Fortunately for the Whittington family, Remi had been with police.
Officers said the boy was found by a community member who stopped to help. Phone logs showed the Good Samaritan called police at 3:37 p.m.
“Police had him for an hour and a half in their cruiser and had no idea where to bring him because no one (from the daycare) had called,” Ryan told Global News.
“The only thing they could do was drive around and look for someone that was searching for a child. And they couldn’t even find someone searching for a child.”
Christina Kang, the daycare’s owner, said she is in shock and deeply sorry for the family.
“I have a child of my own. I imagine how crucial every moment is,” Kang told Global News.
She said it was noticed that Remi was missing just after 4 p.m., and the parents were called at 4:08 p.m.
However, the Whittingtons said they did not receive a call until 4:55 p.m.
A statement from the Calgary Police Service said officers received a call from a member of the public at around 3:45 p.m. to tell them about a young child located in Mahogany.
Officers drove around the neighbourhood for the next hour trying to find the child’s parents.
At 5:05 p.m., police received a report of a child missing from a daycare. The child’s description and location matched, and police were able to reunite the child with their parents, the CPS statement said.
Children’s Services told Global News an investigation into the incident is ongoing and that the ministry will take appropriate action as necessary.
“This daycare should be shut down,” Kellyanne said. “There’s policies in place and they’re not following those policies — but also, too, they’re lying about it.”