State takes over Georgetown daycare center probe - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

State takes over daycare center probe

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Erica McKinney, Kimberly Emerson (Source: Chatham Co. Sheriff's Office) Erica McKinney, Kimberly Emerson (Source: Chatham Co. Sheriff's Office)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

State authorities are now handling the investigation into what police are calling an illegal, unlicensed day care center.

Chatham County fire marshals and Savannah-Chatham Metro Police shut down the Georgetown facility on Tuesday.

Investigators from the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services through the Department of Early Childcare and Learning told SCMPD Special Victims Unit officers that they have opened an investigation. 

The daycare center 1190 King George Blvd. did business as the George Town Child Care Center and the George Town Fitness Center, according to police.

West Chatham Precinct officers were asked to escort county authorities to deliver a cease and desist order from Chatham County Recorder's Court to the daycare center.

An adult and a 14-year-old girl were found caring for 11 children who were all age 4 or younger. Police said that when officers arrived, the adult locked the front door and took off, leaving only the 14-year-old in charge.

Two operators of the center Kimberly Denise Emerson, 47, and Erica Denise McKinney, 36, also known as Erica Hayward, were charged and appeared in court on Tuesday morning,  according to police.

They had been sentenced to 10 days in the Chatham County Detention Center for violating the court order. They have significant arrest records in Savannah. Police said Emerson has several drug arrests, prostitution, fraud and driving violations. 

Records show the center had been closed down in Richmond Hill and that most of the children attending were from the Richmond Hill area.

Police worked for several hours trying to identify parents due to the center's poor recordkeeping to tell them to pick up their children.

A West Chatham Precinct patrol car was at the center on Wednesday to make sure no parents were dropping off children there. 

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