Day care workers who used horror mask to scare children charged with felony child abuse

A masked woman can be seen chasing a boy as she screams inches from his face.

ByJon Haworth via ABC logo
Thursday, October 20, 2022
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According to the Monroe County's Sheriff's Office, five employees of the Lil' Blessings Child Care and Learning Center in Hamilton, Mississippi, were arrested after a video showed them scaring children.

Five day care workers have been charged with child abuse after a video of them terrifying small children with a scary mask -- similar to the one seen in the "Scream" film franchise -- went viral.

The incident occurred at Lil' Blessings Child Care and Learning Center in Hamilton, Mississippi -- approximately 170 miles northeast of the state's capital city of Jackson -- where an undated video of a day care worker wearing a mask can be seen terrorizing children who are screaming and crying and even paralyzed with fear.

"Are you being bad? Do I need to take you outside?" the masked day care worker can be heard screaming into the face of a small child as they try to bury their face in their arms on the table.

In another moment, the woman in the mask can be seen bending down and shrieking in a crying child's face as she shakes in fear.

"We are supposed to be cleaning up, monster," the woman who is filming the video can be heard at one point prompting the woman in the mask who continues stalking the crying and screaming children.

At one point a boy can be seen running away while the woman in the mask chases after him as she screams inches from his face.

After authorities got wind of what happened at the day care center, they decided to take action.

"On Monday October 17, 2022 the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the County Prosecuting Attorney, and the District Attorney met with the parents of the children involved in the incident at Lil' Blessings Child Care and Learning Center and informed them of the possible criminal charges the law would allow them to pursue," said Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook in a statement regarding the incident. "Parents were also given an opportunity to share information they had gathered with MCSO Investigators."

At least one set of parents signed felony child abuse affidavits in Monroe County Justice Court on Wednesday and, on Thursday, a judge issued warrants on charges filed against five of the day care workers by multiple sets of parents on behalf of their children.

"I was in complete shock of what I witnessed," Katelyn Johnson, mother of a child who attends Lil' Blessings, told ABC News. "Whether they had a mask on or a mask off, their behavior was unacceptable. My blood pressure was raised. It broke my heart for my child. I was angry."

"I hope you're enjoying jail and I hope you realize what you have done is serious," Johnson continued. "It is not a joke and it is nothing to laugh at."

Alyssa Hayes, mother of a young girl at the day care center, echoed Johnson when she spoke to ABC News.

"I want them to see the terror on her face because that is what I see every night," she said.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office named the offenders in the case as Sierra McCandless, Oci-Anna Kilburn, Jennifer Newman, Shyenne Shelton and Traci Hutson.

McCandless, Kilburn, Newman and Shelton each face three counts of felony child abuse for their role in the incident while Hutson faces two charges of failure to report abuse and simple assault against a minor, both misdemeanors.

It is unclear if the suspects named in the case have obtained legal representation and the investigation is currently ongoing.