Va. day care director charged with felony after child wanders away

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WASHINGTON — The director of a Virginia day care center has been charged with felony child neglect after a 3-year-old girl wandered away from the facility with no supervision last month.

The incident happened Nov. 19 at the Kiddie Academy of Gainesville, Virginia, where police said the child walked away from the day care center and into a nearby Papa John’s Pizza. Someone inside the business contacted police when they saw she was alone.

“The child was not harmed, and we were able to release the child into the custody of a family member,” said Officer Nathan Probus, a spokesman for the Prince William County Police Department.

On Tuesday, police obtained an arrest warrant for Nayoung Park, 23, who was in charge at the time.

“In consultation with our commonwealth attorney’s office, we determined that this was the appropriate charge,” Probus said of the felony child neglect charge against Park.

Police said Park turned herself in Wednesday and is free on $1,000 bail. The day care has placed her on administrative leave.

In a statement, the Kiddie Academy called the incident “unfortunate.”

“Every parent was notified by email about this incident,” the statement said.  “The academy also self-reported the incident to the state child care licensing body.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner and republished with permission. Sign up for’s free email subscription today.


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