Distraught mom discovers baby missing from daycare, worker handed over 7-month-old to stranger

Daycare could lose license for violations
Posted at 6:19 PM, Feb 24, 2021

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Hillsborough County’s Child Care Licensing Office in Florida says it is seeking to revoke Orient Road Child Development Center’s license to operate. The administrative complaint comes one month after a staffer gave a 7-month-old baby away to a stranger.

Trinity McCoggle called 911 on Jan. 25 after arriving at the daycare to pick up her 7-month-old son, Adonis.

Describing what happened, McCoggle said the worker, “Went to the back to get him and when she came back, she said, 'He's not here.' I said, ‘What do you mean he is not here?'” Adonis had been given to another person who arrived at the facility earlier.

A 911 call records McCoggle screaming that her baby is missing and asking for help.

The Child Care Licensing Office confirmed the daycare handed the baby over to a stranger without asking for identification.

Within an hour, the woman who picked up Adonis returned him to the daycare where his mother and deputies were waiting. The sheriff's office lists the case as an "...inactive missing person’s report."

Danice Donaldson, the daycare's owner, responded in an emailed statement:

“This child was the last child in the room and when the elderly family member came she pointed and said she came to pick up her grandson. The teacher who released the child never asked for ID as she assumed that she was the parent (family member or guardian).”

According to county records over the last four years, this is not the first time this daycare has misplaced a child.

According to county records, a child from the daycare was left inside a broken-down van. When the 4-year-old girl woke up alone, she left the van and wandered into a nearby building where someone contacted the sheriff's office.

McCoggle said if she had known of the previous incident, “I would have never taken my baby there.”

In 2017, the county's child care licensing office cited the provider with three class one violations -- the most serious -- for the child left in the van and hit the business with a $750 fine.

In 2018, two inspections found multiple violations involving not enough staff compared to the number of children.

During an interview in early February, Child Care Licensing Manager Lisa Bragano said the county issued a class one violation over what happened to Adonis.

On Tuesday, the county spokesperson said regulators conducted “…. A complete review of this incident and the facility's compliance history, it was determined that revocation of the license is the appropriate action to take at this time.”

The daycare’s attorney stated there would be no comment other than his client planned to appeal the county’s decision. The daycare now has 15 days to respond to the administrative complaint seeking revocation filed by regulators.

This article was written by Jackie Callaway for WFTS.