HARRIS COUNTY, Texas--The precise details of what happened behind at an apartment at the Oaks at Greenview Apartments Thursday night remain a mystery. But for state investigators probing what happened, a clearer picture is beginning to emerge.
"We know that that was someone who was providing child care in their home and they were not regulated," said Gwen Carter with Child Protective Services. She says the third floor apartment was serving as an illegal day care when a 2-year-old girl ended up in a bathtub filled with scalding water. She suffered severe burns and died at the hospital.
Neighbors, stunned by the news, recalled the shrieking screams from a grieving mom who hours earlier, had apparently dropped her child off to be looked after.
"It had to be some devastating news," said Antrel Jenkins. "Because you could hear her screaming throughout the whole apartments. She screamed loudly for a few minutes."
A similar scene also occurred this week at a southeast Houston home. Authorities are awaiting autopsy results following the death of a 2-month-old boy who was found in his crib. Once again, CPS believes the child had been dropped off at a home operating as an illegal day care.
"It should have been regulated and it was not," said Carter. "We have been working with them to make sure that they cooperated and were not providing child care anymore."
KHOU 11 News knocked on the door. Someone peered through the window but refused to answer our questions. At the apartments, neighbors say they recall seeing children going in and out, never thinking that it might be a day care.
"But they did seem to be well taken care of from the time that I've seen them around the apartments," said Jenkins.