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Daycare Closed After Child Taken Last Week

MEMPHIS, TENN (localmemphis.com) - A Frayser daycare, where police say a stranger took a baby illegally last week, has closed permanently. 

The Department of Human Services say Elite Academy will not reopen and the daycare remains under investigation by the state. 

Mya Lakes, 18, appeared in court Monday. Lakes face aggravated kidnapping, child endangerment charges. She sits in jail on a $100,000 bond. Memphis Police say she took seven- month- old Alaeh Fentress from the daycare last Thursday. 


"It's not necessarily what I wanted, but it's what's best," said Jasmine Fentress, Alaeh's mother.  "It's what's best for the community and the safety of other children."

Jasmine Fentress says Elite Academy is closing its doors, is probably best for the safety of other children. 

Her daughter Alaeh was only enrolled for five days before she was kidnapped.  Fentress is now looking for other childcare services. 

"It's just really unfortunate because as a single mom the market for childcare is hard. It's really tough especially when you have to deal with your other bills," Fentress explained.  

The owner, Connita Hill, showed up to the daycare while our cameras were rolling, and had no comment. Some people in Frayser are defending Hill. 

"You can't just definitely blame the owner, because if she's not here all the time, how can you just definitely blame her. I think this is a good center. I think it's a big misunderstanding," said Lashonda Harwell of Frayser. 

Mya Lakes, the woman accused of taking the baby, broke down in court Monday. 

"She's forgiven. I truly hope she seeks help. I really hope she gets help because her life is just turning, she's only 18," said Fentress. Fentress is now spending time focusing on finding a better place for her child.  She's more cautious in the process.  

"Any programs that may be available locally that anybody could suggest I would really appreciate that," Fentress said.  


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