Arrest made in child wandering case

NEWARK, Del. - August 25, 2009 Troopers charged Devonshire Tuesday afternoon after she turned herself into state police.

Devonshire was on duty at the daycare center yesterday when 3-year-old Marvin Brittingham Jr. left the center undetected and wandered dangerously close to a major freeway.

She was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child and was released after arraignment on unsecured bail. Devonshire will have an appearance in Family Court next month.

Both of Brittingham's parents were at work when they got a call from Delaware State Police.

"I was freaked out!" exclaimed Marvin Brittingham, the boy's father.

"I was praying the whole time that I left work," said Melissa Travis, Marvin's mother.

Police say the child's father had dropped off the child at the Little Scholars Day Care about 9:30 in the morning. An hour later, Shiela Sainson saw him wandering along Rt. 896, a very busy highway in Newark, Delaware about a quarter of a mile from the day care.

"I think he was trying to decide whether he was gonna cross the highway or not, so I kinda slammed on the brakes and just ran over and called 911."

Sainson says 5 other motorists also stopped after they were startled by seeing a child wandering across a dangerous highway.

"He was quiet and subdued and he was scared, he was very scared and I was scared for him."

When state police went knocking at the day care asking if they were missing a child, at first they said no, but when police gave them a description of the child, one of the workers gasped 'Oh my God!'

"It's ridiculous and here I'm thinking that my son is at a secure day care," said Melissa.

The mother wants to know how does a child wander off from a day care and nobody noticed? Delaware State Police want to know too.

"Obviously this causes some great concern because if it can happen to one child, no telling how many more children could get away too," said Sgt. Walter Newton.

Day care operators told police the child was only missing for 5 minutes, but Sainson says;

"Oh no, it was more than 5 minutes, it was between 25 to 30 minutes cause it took the police about 20 minutes to come because we really didn't give them accurate directions of where the child was."

In any event, the child's mother won't be taking her child back to the Little Scholars Day Care urging they get better security.

"You need the security of your day care, Like I said, extra bells, meaning if a child was to walk out a gate, that bell would go Ding Dong, that would mean that a child is walking out of the Day care."

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