Baby found inside basement crawlspace - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Baby found inside basement crawlspace; home daycare operator arrested

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Catalina Reyes, 54, was arrested after police said a baby was found unattended inside a basement crawlspace behind a locked door. Catalina Reyes, 54, was arrested after police said a baby was found unattended inside a basement crawlspace behind a locked door.
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Police in Waterbury arrested the operator of a home daycare after a Department of Health inspector said a 6-month-old was found strapped to a car seat in a basement crawlspace behind a locked door.

The girl was discovered while the inspector was conducting an inspection of the home, police said, and the baby was without food and had not been changed.

Police arrested Catalina Reyes, 54, and charged her with risk of injury to a minor.

Police said Reyes was trying to hide the baby from the inspector who had showed up  unannounced after receiving a complaint. 

About four hours into the inspection, a baby was heard crying and the baby girl was found in a crawl space.

Police said Reyes knew she was going to get in trouble for having more than six children staying at the daycare so she hid the child. Home day cares in Connecticut can have up to six children staying during the day but only two of them can be under the age of 2. 

The state says Reyes had three children under 2 years-of age when inspectors showed up.

"It appears she placed the child to avoid detection that she was over capacity," said Waterbury Police Captain Chris Corbett

 Reyes was able to post bond and was expected to appear in court on Thursday.

However, police said she wasn't in court when her name was called and the judge ordered police to re-arrest her.

According to state records, Reyes' license history is overall clean except for one issue in 2006 involving a similar violation when she had more than 2 children under age 2. 

State officials say Reyes voluntarily surrendered her license so the daycare is now closed. 

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