3-year-old boy leaves daycare, walks home across busy street

HAMILTON TWP., N.J. -- A daycare in New Jersey is under investigation after a toddler wandered off without anyone noticing.

Yomara Ortiz dropped her 3-year-old son Dariell Lemos at the KinderWorld EduCare center on Hamilton Avenue Thursday at 7:20 a.m.

She was astounded when a short time later she got a call from her daughter saying that Dariell was back home and she immediately called the daycare center director.

"I was just asking her how can you explain to me how he left the school without you noticing it," Ortiz said.

Dariell apparently left KinderWorld without anyone seeing him, crossing busy Hamilton Avenue on his own, which is a danger even for adults. He then walked a block and a half to his home on Hobart Avenue where he knocked on the side door and his sister found him crying.

"They had nothing to say. They just apologized and said it would never happen again. [I said], 'Oh, I know it won't cause he's not coming back,'" Ortiz said.

Ortiz reported the incident to police and the state Department of Children and Families.

A DCF investigator spent 20 minutes trying to get someone to answer the door at KinderWorld Friday morning and only got in after Hamilton police arrived.

They were summoned after the daycare called the cops on Action News, upset that we were knocking on the door looking for a comment. We never got it.

"It's horrible any child can get out of there. That means anyone can get out. I didn't have a clue that even happened," Adele Cason, a grandmother of another child, said

Some family members picking up children didn't know or didn't want to talk about the incident. But others are horrified that a 3-year-old would be able to leave the building undetected by staff.

"I don't know how the boy got out and walked across the street without anybody watching him, a car stopping, cause it's so busy. They're pretty good here though they're pretty good, I just don't know how it happened," Paula Bonfonti, a great aunt of another child, said.
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