CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Parents are outraged after their young children walked away from a local daycare and workers didn't even notice they were missing until police officers returned them.
Although 3-year-old Bry Doyle and 2-year-old Arthur Lay are unharmed and safe now, their parents call it a blessing they do not take for granted, especially after their huge disappointment at Coventry Children's Center on Tuesday.
"We don't want any parents going through what we went through, or worse," said Bry's father, Travis Lay.
According to investigators, while two teachers supervised a class of 10 students, somehow Bry and Arthur were able to wander away without anyone knowing.
"When you hear, 'Arthur ran away from daycare,' it just blows you away," said his dad, Brendan Doyle.
According to the police report, several passersby noticed the children and flagged down an officer. He discovered the kids near the intersection of Coventry and Edgehill roads. That means they traveled about a quarter of a mile on their own, and crossed as many as two streets by themselves in one of Cleveland Heights' busiest areas near Euclid Heights Boulevard.
The parents estimate they were on their own for 40 minutes.
"It's been very difficult to process," Lay said. "Right now, there was a lot of fears and anger, and then it turned into being concerned and depressed."
"It's one of those heart-wrenching, jaw-dropping moments," said Doyle.
19 Action News reporter Q McCray tried calling and meeting the director of Coventry Children's Center in person, but was declined.
The preschool has been open for just over a year, and in that time, it has been cited for failing to supervise children, along with dozens more violations.
The two workers involved in this case, Catherine McGraw, 36, and LaShonda Mollicia, 45, lost their jobs. Police charged them with child endangerment.
The department of Children and Family Services is also looking into the incident.
It remains to be seen if the daycare itself will be disciplined.