Unlicensed daycare discovered during child neglect investigation

Angie Talken
Chillicothe News

An unlicensed daycare was discovered in the 200 block of E. Polk Street on Thursday when area officials were investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect at the same location. 

According to a press release from Chillicothe Police Cheif Jon Maples multiple agencies, including the Chillicothe Police Department (CPD) Livingston County Children’s Division In-Home Investigations, Out of Home Investigations and The Department of Health Daycare Licensing Division conducted an investigation into child abuse/neglect in the 200 block of E. Polk St. at about 12:08 p.m., on Thursday, March 25. 

"During the investigation officers discovered there was an unlicensed daycare in operation.  The investigation revealed terrible conditions for children.  There were numerous animals such as cats and dogs inside the residence.  Due to the animals living in the residence, there were animal feces and urine contaminating the residence causing a strong noxious odor of ammonia which could be smelled from the exterior of the residence, along with animal food and water easily accessible by the children," Maples said.  "The structure of the building was in poor condition which was allowing weather conditions inside the residence."

As the investigation continued, officers discovered the children at the residence were not being fed and hydrated on a regular basis.  "It was reported to officers what food was provided was not adequate and/or spoiled," Maples said. "The children were also reportedly getting into the animal food and water."

As a result of the investigation, a 24-year-old female and 21-year-old male were arrested.  They were processed at the police department and transported to the Daviess-DeKalb County Regional Jail pending the filing of formal charges. The pair was later identified by the C-T, through online court records as Jessica Maurine Busker and Cloyce Oliver Wollard. Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Warren filed charges on March 26. Busker and Wollard are both charged with six counts of endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk - no sexual contact. 

"I want to commend officers of the Chillicothe Police Department, Livingston County Children’s Division In Home Investigations, Out of Home Investigations, The Department of Health Daycare Licensing Division, and Chillicothe School District for their partnership and dedication in keeping children safe in our community," Maples said.

Court records state Busker lives at 222 E. Polk St., and during a bond hearing, Wollard noted he lived at the same address with Busker. Both are due in court at 9 a.m., on April 7 before Judge Michael Leamer for a preliminary hearing. 

Busker was charged and plead guilty in 2018 to second-degree property damage and was sentenced to pay a fine. She has several other criminal complaints and traffic violations, according to online court records. In January of this year, she was charged with stealing of $750 or more in Green County, after failing to appear in court a warrant had been issued for her arrest. She is being represented by Melinda Ann Troeger, public defender, for the charges in Livingston County.

Wollard told the court he has worked at a Chillicothe restaurant as a cook for the last six months. As of Monday afternoon, no attorney was listed for him. Wollard had no past criminal history.