Police: Infants locked in shed behind illegal day care in Sealy

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by By Michelle Homer Courtney Zubowski / 11 News

kvue.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 20 at 3:06 PM

SEALY, Texas -- A Sealy mother says she is hurt and angry after investigators told her the woman caring for her two year old put the toddler in a backyard storage shed and left her there with four other young children.

Video: Sealy Day Care Bust
Police: Infants locked in shed behind illegal day care in Sealy
July 1, 2009

Marietta "Rita" Patek is facing several counts of child endangerment. She is accused of running an illegal daycare out of her home.

"I hope she goes down for it. She deserves it," said Natalie Brocker.

Investigators say Brocker's daughter, Nadia, is one of four children found in the dark shed.

Police went to the home at 227 Willow Street after a Texas Child Care licensing inspector alerted them that the occupants were operating a day care center illegally.

Investigators believe Patek tried to hide the children when the inspectors came to her door. Patek is allowed to care for three children at a time. Investigators say they found 14 children when they arrived.

The officers said the children were in a storage building surrounded by hazardous materials, including gasoline and insecticides. There were no adults in the storage building. There was also only a small air conditioner.

Other infants and children were found hidden throughout the house, the backyard and the house next door, according to Sealy police.

Brocker says thinking back she saw the signs.

"After I got off work, I would go pick up Nadia and the whole time she would keep the door closed to her house and you would only see three or four older kids."

Other parents drove by the Patek's home Wednesday, including Rebecca Hinsey who took her son out of Patek's home just last week.

"It's unbelievable," said Hinsey. "If my child would have been there today, I mean I don't know what would have happened. I can't imagine why you could even think about doing that."

All of the children were checked by EMS and released to their parents.

Marietta Patek, 55, was arrested and charged with six counts of endangering a child.

Freddie Patek, 47, was charged with one count of tampering with evidence.

Both were taken to the Austin County Jail.

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